Paddy Laffen Obituary, Death – Paddy Laffan, R.I.P., of Ballycoolan, Stradbally, was a member of the Horseshoe Pitching fraternity, and the news of his passing brought the group great sorrow. Paddy, who is now 96 years old, was considered to be one of the game’s greatest stalwarts for more than four decades. Over the course of more than twenty-five years, in addition to participating in the game himself, he reported on it for the Leinster Express. In order to spread awareness of the sport of horseshoe pitching, he went all over the United States, as well as to the Isle of Man and England on a few separate occasions. Paddy held the position of Treasurer for the Horseshoe Pitchers Association of Ireland (HPAI) for more than twenty years, during which time he performed exceptionally well in that capacity.
Paddy Laffan started pitching horseshoes competitively with the Garrons team Stradbally in the middle of the seventies. When Ballycoolan (his native place) formed a club, he rowed in with them, and they became one of the top teams in the country, winning eight All Ireland Club titles, and Paddy Laffan had a big input into those successes as well as many more Competitions held all around the country. Horseshoe pitchers from all over the country voted him Person of the Year in 2008 for his unwavering commitment to the sport. He was the very first person to receive this honor, and it was unquestionably well-deserved. Paddy Laffan was the epitome of a true gentleman, and he was held in the highest regard by anyone who had the privilege of either becoming acquainted with him or spending time in his company.
Paddy’s passing has created a significant void, most especially within his family, within his own community of Ballycoolan and Stradbally, and among horseshoe pitchers all over the country; this void will be difficult to fill. On Sunday, November 13, following the celebration of the Requiem Mass in Stradbally, Paddy was laid to rest. On his final journey to Oakvale Cemetery, where he was laid to rest next to the woman he cherished more than life itself, Mary, the Horseshoe Pitchers formed a guard of honor for him. Ar Dheis Dĕ go raibh siad.