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Pat was born in Limerick in the west of Ireland in 1945 and spent his early years in the English cities of Liverpool and Coventry where his father worked as a coalminer.
When Pat returned to Coventry at the height of the folk music revival in England he started to play in the area's many folk club's and was also a founder member of the Dyer's Arms folk sessions, which attracted musicians and singers from all over Britain and Ireland. At that time Pat turned his hand to songwriting, producing work of a mainly topical nature for B.B.C. Radio Birmingham. Back then Coventry had a thriving Irish music scene and Pat became friendly with many of the musicians and singers who gathered there, among them Sean Cannon, later to become a member of The Dubliners. Sean became the first singer to include Pat's song's in his solo gigs.