Nothing fishy about Pat’s story

Nothing fishy about Pat’s story

From The Evening Echo 28th November 2011

Nothing fishy about Pat's story at Cork Business Association dinner.

Fish merchant Pat O'Connell has spoken about why he was so relaxed when he met the Queen of England in the English Market earlier this year - he thought she was one of his customers. A photograph taken in May of him and Queen Elizabeth II sharing a joke was shown all over the world. He told guests at the annual dinner of Cork Business Association (CBA) at the weekend about a woman who was a regular customer of his who always wears a green hat and coat, just as the Queen did on the day she paid her historic visit to the city centre venue. The woman, whom he said lived in the Turner's Cross area, always called at the same precise time at 1.45pm on Friday. And so when a women stopped to chat with him on May 20 last he thought it was his regular. And because of this he indulged in his usual banter with her. Pat offered this explanation as he drew tickets for a charity raffle at the CBA black tie event at the Marybrough Hotel and Spa. The story sparked off a round of laughter from the 250 guests attending the black tie event, at which the Irish Examiner was media sponsor. A guest at one table was heard to say there was something fishy about the tale while another said the woman from Turner's Cross must carry a lot of money with her if she need so much security. It was a night of great celebration for traders at the Market as the 300-year-old venue was named the winner of the big business award for 2011 in the Heineken Ireland sponsored event. Tom Durcan, Chairman of the market, said he was delighted to accept the award on behalf of 44 traders in the venue. It was a great night for business owners, the families who had traded there for generations, and the management, he said. And he paid tribute to the customers who supported them though the years. He also hailed the partnership approach that now exists between traders and their Landlord, the City Council. He said a special thanks was due to Council Director of Services for Recreation, Amenity and Culture, Valerie O'Sullivan, and Council Senior Executive Officer, Paul Moynihan, for the great relationship that now exists between them. He also recalled the great history of the venue, surviving the Famine, revolutions, two world wars, fire and several economic declines and this year creating history again by hosting Queen Elizabeth and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh. Vibes and Scribes, with three outlets in the city- two on Lavitt's Quay and one at Bridge Street- was named the small to medium sized business of the year. Owner Joan Lucey who opened her first Bookshop in Macroom in 1991 thanked judges, staff, her manager and customers. The main spot prize was provided by Frances Lynch, of Victoria Antiques, Oliver Plunkett Street.

Pat and Margaret O'Connell at the Cork Business Association annual dinner and awards at Maryborough House and Spa.

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