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Saturday 3 December 2016

Tributes as 'the nicest woman on Parnell Street' Patty Duffy passes away

Patty Duffy at her Parnell Street shop about 12 years ago
Patty Duffy at her Parnell Street shop about 12 years ago
Patty Duffy in 2013

Tributes were paid this week after the death of Patricia 'Patty' Duffy, who was the face of the oldest newsagents in Dublin for 40 years.

Patty was the third generation of her family to have worked in Lucky Duffy's newsagents on Parnell Street, having spent 40 years as the friendly face behind the counter.

She was famously described as "the nicest woman on Parnell Street" in Sebastian Barry's play The Pride of Parnell Street.

Character

Along with Barry, people like David Norris, Sinead O'Connor and the late Tony Gregory visited her shop.

Patty has been described as "a character" who ran a shop that had been the "meeting point for the whole community".

"She worked there all by herself. She was a generous woman - she gave people food and money, a lot of the locals would have gotten stuff on tick," her nephew Gerard Gogan said.

Nuala O'Neill, Patty's sister, also spoke of her giving nature. "She was very kind to the poor - she'd help anyone who was short, but she was a shrewd businesswoman too."

As well as being a friendly face, she was not a woman to be crossed.

"All walks of life visited the shop… even the 'Bugsy Malones' of Dublin City. She was robbed several times, she even had a gun held to her head once, but she wouldn't take hassle from anybody... she'd take no prisoners," added Gerard.

Lucky Duffy's newsagents witnessed "a lot of history", explained her sister Nuala.

Patty saw Parnell Street change over the years, witnessing new communities and new businesses come and go during her time there.

The front of the shop was even blown off by the 1974 Dublin bombing.

The shop closed its doors for the last time in December 2013, after 111 years of business.

Speaking to the Herald at the time, Patty said: "I loved the people, I loved what I was doing."

Her nephew paid tribute to her, saying: "She was so kind, even when the shop closed, we were clearing it out and we found old lucky bags with toys 50 or 60 years old. She sent all the toys up to a Montessori on North Great Georges Street."

Patty will be remembered fondly by many Dubliners at her funeral at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral at 11am this morning.

There will be a lottery ticket, a copy of the Herald, and a picture of Patty offered as symbols of her life at the ceremony.

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