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20/10/2021

'Still going strong - Offaly man marks 65 years working for same company

'Still going strong - Offaly man marks 65 years working for same company

'Still going strong - Offaly man marks 65 years working for same company

WHILE most people are planning to retire sometime in their 60s, one Offaly man is still going strong at 79.

James Walsh celebrated his birthday on Wednesday, June 23, and has been working at Thrace Synthetic Packaging Ltd in Clara for the past 65 years.

James started work when he was just 14 and he used to cycle from Moate every day to his place of work before finally moving to Clara.

He had planned to retire at 70 but after his wife Mary Josephine died 9 years ago he decided to keep working and still holds a very important position at the company.

"I started in Goodbody jute mills, as it was known then in 1956. I started by setting frames. I was a year doing that. Then I went to packing and then on to printing. I used to set up the print," said James.

James was then promoted to Shift Manager before finally being made Director of the company in 2003. He attended board meetings until he was 66/67, but he no longer participates in those.

"I am still a silent director. We do a lot of different types of packaging especially for the food industry, like buckets for soups and sweets like what you see in Dunnes Stores," he says.

James works from 8am to 1pm every day. In the afternoon he goes walking for a couple of miles. He is extremely healthy and takes no medication. "I walk 7 days a week and I don't like taking tablets."

He has three children, 7 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all living nearby which James is very happy about.

With the exception of this year, James goes on a foreign holiday every year and really enjoys the experience. He celebrated his birthday by going to work as usual.

He is wished all the best for his birthday and many more years of health and happiness by his colleagues and all of us here at the Offaly Express, Tullamore Tribune and Midland Tribune. 

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