Artist’s tribute to Paddy Drac

By Mary Dennehy

PADDY Drac has taken a well-deserved bite out of the Dublin Canvass project, with the local hero, who passed away in April, being honoured through an artistic tribute that looks down on the Dodder towards his home in Bawnville.

Located at the entrance to Aylesbury estate, across from Dodder Valley Park, the tribute to Paddy Finlay (aka Paddy Drac) was this week painted by Tallaght fireman Geoff Tracey as part of the Dublin Canvass project.

Paddy Drac 1

Tallaght fireman paints Paddy Drac Finlay on control box at entrance to Aylesbury

The project last year saw 36 traffic light control boxes painted across local communities in South Dublin County – with a further 56 being given a splash of colour this summer.

Speaking with The Echo this week, Geoff Tracey explained how he had spoken with Paddy last year about creating an image of the capital’s most famous volunteering vampire as part of Dublin Canvass.

“I originally intended to paint this piece last year”, Geoff said.

“Paddy gave me his permission, and was his usual jovial self about it, but unfortunately he passed away before it could come to be.”

He added: “I grew up around the corner from Paddy.

Paddy Drac2 1

“He lived in Bawnville, which was just around the corner from my parents’ house on Seskin View… and he brought me to my debs in a funeral car.

“I felt that if I was going to do [Dublin Canvass] I should be looking at local heroes… and who better than Paddy.”

After investing more than 20 hours into design preparation, which involved hand cutting stencils, Geoff spent around five hours on-site painting the box on Tuesday.

Now living in Newcastle, Geoff, who is based at Tallaght Fire Station, revealed to The Echo that he also included some illuminous paint in the creation – which will hopefully give the box a spooky glow when the winter nights descend.

Announcing the completion of his work on Facebook, Geoff, wrote: “So here it is, a tribute to a Dublin legend, a selfless man who did Trojan work for the community and frightened the sh*te out of thousands along the way.”

After nearly 50 years of donning his cape for community and charity events, Paddy (74) passed away in April following a short illness.

At his funeral mass in St Dominic’s Church, Paddy’s “compassion, care and concern” for people, especially those who were vulnerable, was celebrated, alongside his infectious sense of humour and fun.

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