A tribute to Mr Paddy O’Duffy- First Chair of Circle Voluntary Housing Association

Paddy O’Duffy was the founding chair of Circle Voluntary Housing Association in 2003 and was chair for a 7 year period until 2010. Paddy had just retired from being Chair of An Bord Pleanala in 2003, so he would have had ample opportunity to offer his services as a planning consultant to developers and local authorities. Instead Paddy gave his time, energy, determination and expertise to the establishment of Circle Voluntary Housing Association as a social housing provider over the next 11 years. He took on this responsibility as a continuation of his previous role as being a public servant in the Department of Environment. Paddy had joined the civil service and had progressed his career in the Department of Environment. He had a distinguished career there. He had been a Principal Officer with responsibility for housing policy in the late 1970’s and 1980s. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Housing Finance Agency in 1982 which has played a key role in the funding of mortgages in the 1980s and the provision of social housing ever since. He was later promoted to an Assistant Secretary in the Department and took on the responsibility for the national roads programme and the establishment of the National Roads Authority. Paddy’s public service career ended with him being appointed first as deputy chair and then chair of An Bord Pleanala for a 7 year period until 2003.

Paddy then brought all his experience and expertise to the foundation of Circle VHA. He was a man of integrity, probity and a man of his word. His role as chair was fundamental to the foundation and growth off Circle VHA. He was absolutely committed to the delivery of social housing and the vision of Circle VHA of “Making a difference by providing quality homes for people in housing need.” He was determined, focussed and gave considerable time to the organisation. He was meticulous and concerned both with our strategic direction, our business planning, and how we delivered our housing management services. He retired from the Board in 2011 but he remained committed to the organisation by being an external committee member of our Finance and Strategy Committee until his health deteriorated in 2015. I was fortunate to have worked under his direction as Chief Executive and he was always supportive, firm and fair He also had good humour. He very much valued what Circle VHA has achieved and delivered to its tenants. He saw his contribution to Circle VHA as continuation of his public service role and his commitment to the provision of social housing for people in need. Paddy was a committed family man and our sympathies are extended to his wife Marie and his children. He was an avid hill walker and active member of his community in Dalkey. He will be missed by his family and friends. For Circle VHA he will be missed. He will also be remembered for his contribution and commitment to our foundation, vision and purpose.

Justin O’Brien
Chief Executive
February 21st 2017