IRISH community leaders joined former Labour MP Sir Patrick Duffy as he celebrated his 95th birthday in London today.
Yorkshire raised but Lancashire-born, to Irish parents working England’s coalfields, Sir Patrick has always felt close to his roots in Co. Mayo.
Just last year he published his memoirs Growing up Irish in Britain and British in Ireland which reveal his “pride” in his Irishness, while documenting his many achievements over the years.
In a lengthy career spanning Royal service, a stint in the NATO Presidency and a pivotal role in Parliament during the conflict in the North of Ireland, Sir Patrick claims he has always felt "blessed" to be both Irish and British.
The former Labour MP for Sutton Attercliffe was also Minister for the Navy before swapping his Westminster career for the NATO Presidency in the 1980s.
That post opened the door to a new range of achievements and experiences - including audiences with everyone from Pope John Paul II to Margaret Thatcher.
Today – his 95th birthday - he was joined by some of his dearest friends and former colleagues who helped him celebrate another impressive milestone.
Among them businessmen Andy Rogers, John Kennedy and Irish Post owner and publisher Elgin Loane were in attendance at a special birthday lunch held at The Naval Club in central London.
Fellow former Labour Kevin MacNamara was also there, along with the party’s Rosie Winterton MP, currently the opposition's chief whip in parliament.