Paddy Power was a giant of a man in every sense of the word. Sadly, Paddy passed away on Good Friday, 29th March. Until his retirement from Aer Lingus, after nearly 40 years of service, Paddy was the highly respected face of Aer Lingus to the Irish travel trade.
His career in Aer Lingus began in 1953 as a Traffic clerk at Dublin Airport. His people skills were quickly recognised and he was temporarily transferred to the Aer Lingus New York office while attending a Business Management course in Yale University.
On his return to Ireland he was selected as one of three sales managers to pioneer the opening of Aer Lingus offices in continental Europe. Paddy and his young wife Gilla, who sadly died nine months before Paddy, moved to Brussels and later to Paris.
Once again Ireland called and he was appointed Sales Manager Dublin (the youngest ever – and an honour he still holds). He quickly built up a reputation with the travel trade as an honest, caring businessman and over the years many travel agents were helped by him in his own quiet way without any fanfare.
Although based in the Aer Lingus office in Grafton Street in Dublin, Paddy had many offices – including the Palace Bar, Conways, the Royal Dublin Hotel, the Coachmans Inn, etc – and many problems were solved and business conducted over a pint of Guinness.
In 1971 he was appointed sales Manager Ireland and his influence in maximising revenue to Aer Lingus spread countrywide.
Wherever he worked he made a huge impression. During his time as Sales Manager Ireland one of his roles was troubleshooter for Aer Lingus Head Office management. Every time they made a decision that might adversely affect the travel agents Paddy was the man who faced the agents and his ability to argue the Aer Lingus case invariably won them over and another crisis was averted.
His last years in Aer Lingus saw Paddy take on an international role as the Aer Lingus representative to IATA and he regularly travelled to Geneva to attend IATA meetings and charm the world’s airlines in the interest of what he called “This great little airline of ours”.
Ni feicfa liethead aris.