THE first core member of L’arche Ireland and the oldest person with Downs Syndrome in Ireland celebrated his 67th birthday with friends and family recently.
Paddy Delaney was born in Mealoughmore in Windgap and was the first member to enter the L’Arche community in Kilmoganny. He is the only son of the late Michael and Mary Delaney.
“We had a wonderful party for him with his friends and carers. It was a great evening,” said Marie Landy whose husband Pierce is Paddy’s first cousin.
Sinead Butler, who is a work co-ordinator at L’Arche explained that Paddy holds a special place in the hearts of the workers and other core members of the L’Arche community. “It was a very special birthday. As far as we are aware Paddy is the oldest person with Downs Syndrome. He has been with us since 1978 and was our first core member. He was very active until last year and now stays at our home. He loves music and he loves to play the mouth organ. He used to love the occasional glass of Guinness and is full of fun and love and is very much at the heart of the community her at L’Arche,” she added.