The PPUI is saddened once again with the announcement of the death of former President Paddy Harkins (RIP). Thanks to John Manning for the following: -
The sport of Pitch and Putt has lost another stalwart administrator with the death of former Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland President Paddy Harkins (RIP).
A Dublin native domiciled in Cork, Paddy served as P.P.U.I. Treasurer in 1971. Loquacious and always impeccably attired, Paddy was elected P.P.U.I. President at 1972 Convention for the 1973 season Always the innovator, Paddy was instrumental in the P.P.U.I. visiting some new courses on the championship rota during his Presidential reign – such as Bagenalstown and Irish Ropes. 1973 was also the year that Paddy masterminded the first made for TV Pitch and Putt event – the RTE Mixed Foursomes at Ierne.
Although more renowned as an administrator, Paddy was also a formidable competitor on the Pitch and Putt course. Paddy partnered Rocklodge clubmate Eileen Dilworth to Best Gross in the National Mixed Foursomes at St. Anne’s in 1974.
Friendly and approachable, one of Paddy Harkins’ most pleasant tasks as President of the P.P.U.I. was to open a 9-hole course at Barnagore, Ovens on 18th August 1973, making the planned Lakewood course a reality. Having switched from Rocklodge to be a doyen of the Lakewood club in its early days, Paddy was honoured to be voted Club Captain in 1978. Paddy was a Lakewood club champion in the 1970s and held the Lakewood course record with 45 in the formative years of the club.
Paddy took great pride in his family. Daughter Gretchen was Munster Ladies Intermediate Strokeplay champion in 1978 at St. Finbarr’s and continues to be a leading light of Lakewood, where she is currently Club Secretary. Son Sean is a three-time National Matchplay champion as well as a multiple county/provincial kingpin and has been a prodigious prizewinner on the circuit through the years.
Many auspicious resolutions were passed during Paddy’s period in office as P.P.U.I. Past President for the 1974, 1975 and 1976 seasons. The landmark conclusion was reached to permit the Union President to serve a three year term, a welcome judgment that resounds positively to the present day.
Although living in the UK in more recent times, Paddy retained a huge interest in Pitch and Putt and was an honoured guest at the 2010 P.P.U.I. Golden Jubilee Dinner Dance at Hotel Minella in Clonmel.
Deepest sympathy is extended to Paddy’s family and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.