Ballybunion mourns the death of Padraic Liston

February 9th, 2013
by Ballybunion News

Ballybunion News is sad to report on the death of Padraic Liston, which took place after a long illness, at his home in Cork on Thursday evening. The son of Owen and the late Noreen Liston from Main Street, Padraic was known throughout Ireland and beyond, in his capacity as Managing Director of Heineken Ireland / Murphy's Brewery, through their sponsorship of huge sporting events including golf and rugby and he will of course be fondly remembered here in Ballybunion as the man who brought the Irish Open to town back in 2000. Sport played a major role in his life from a young age and , Padraic represented Kerry at Minor level in 1972 and was a member of the Shannon Rangers team who lifted the Senior County Championship in 1977. He of course played a major role in Beale's first North Kerry title that same year which led to his selection on the Kerry Senior team for the 1977 / 1978 National League campaign alongside his brother Eoin (Bomber).

Sadly, an injury early in 1978 put paid to his chances in the championship and he would not wear the Green & Gold again but he continued to play with the Beale club and collected two more North Kerry titles in 1978 & 1979 before retiring prematurely through injury which is when he turned his attentions to the game of golf . He was a life-long member of Ballybunion and in latter years enjoyed several trips with club teams to Leatherhead, Wentworth and Pine Valley. He was also a member of Cork Golf Club where he was quite active and played to a handicap of eleven.

Padraic began his working career as a secondary school teacher in Cork upon graduation from UCC but continued to study by night before joining KPMG as a trainee accountant in 1979. He joined the Ridge Tool Company as Financial Controller having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1983 before taking up a position in the financial department of Heineken Ireland (Murphy's Brewery) in 1989. Almost ten years later, he was appointed as Managing Director of the company and remained in this position for five years before moving on to Musgraves as Group Commercial Director, until he retired in 2008.

Around this time Padraic became involved in Ballybunion Golf Club firstly as Club Treasurer and then as Council Chairman and his business acumen steered the club through a particularly rocky period at the height of the world-wide recession.

Padraic didn't stay long in retirement however and set up his own Consulting Business in 2009 as well as becoming Interim CEO of Cork Opera House for a short period in 2010. He was also involved with a number of companies including Heineken and Easons in a Non-Executive Director capacity up until the time of his death.

Throughout his years of involvement with Heineken & Murphy's and their sponsorship of the Irish Open, Padraic had the opportunity to play with some of the greatest names in world golf at that time including Ballesteros, Faldo, Montgomerie, Langer, Harrington etc, and it was something he thoroughly enjoyed, but he always said that his favourite memory in golf was Ballybunion's hosting of the 2000 Irish Open and presenting the winner's trophy to Patrik Sjoland which was of course a massive financial boost to his home town and for his services to the game of golf and Ballybunion in particular, he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of Ballybunion Golf Club in 2002, something he immensely proud of.

Although he has lived in Cork for almost forty years Padraic never forgot his Ballybunion roots and owned a holiday home on Sandhill Road which he visited regularly. He had a huge circle of friends here in Ballybunion whom he always enjoyed meeting and he loved a pint and a game of poker. He will be sadly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Padraic is survived by his wife Eileen, son Colm, daughters Eimear & Ellen, father Owen, brothers Donal, Eoin & Seán , sister Máire, brothers and sisters in law, nieces and nephews and a huge number of friends across every spectrum of Irish life. Rest in Peace Padraic.

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