By Stephen McKinley
Patrick J. Duffy, a well-known New York accountant and financial advisor affectionately known by his family and many friends as Paddy, died last week aged 64.
Duffy was a native of Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, and had been living in New York for more than 20 years. He is survived by his four brothers and sisters, who came to New York for the funeral Mass on Monday. He was active in many Irish circles, particularly the Irish Business Organization, and was a man about town, regularly attending charitable and social functions throughout the tri-state area. His brother Michael described him as a “fanatical golfer.”
Duffy’s keen interest in business and accounting led him toward a career in financial planning, although he was a Christian Brother and schoolteacher by his training. He ran his own business as a certified financial planner and business appraiser, and for several years wrote a practical money advice column for the Irish Echo. He was also known for helping recent immigrants get a better handle on U.S. tax laws. He also wrote for Fancy Food Magazine, and was a member of the International Association of Financial Planners and the American Society of Appraisers.
“He was writing a book on financial planning,” his brother Michael told the Echo, “on the theme that financial planning can be approached through the game of golf.” Michael Duffy also said that more recently his brother had been talking about buying an apartment back in Mullingar, so that he could spend a few months out of the year there, although “he loved New York.”
“He came over to New York in 1976, and went to Iona College,” Michael continued. He graduated from Iona with a masters degree in counseling, and also taught at Chapin School for girls.
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Duffy was a keen sportsman aside from his golfing. He had coached football and hurling for years and was manager of the Irish Schoolboys team.
In 1990 and ’91, he was elected president of the IBO. He fostered golf at the IBO, too, said his friend and colleague Martin Gleeson. “He was a member of the Gaelic Golf Club, and ran a number of IBO golf events,” Gleeson said.
“We were absolutely amazed,” Michael Duffy said, when he and his siblings met the crowd that came to pay their last respects at Gannon’s funeral home on Monday. The remains were taken from the funeral home to the Church of the Holy Trinity for Mass. The family has taken his ashes home and Duffy will be buried in the family plot in Mullingar.