Tom Gilmore chats to Ireland’s Own readers’ favourite Paddy Cole, and hears about his brave battle against terminal cancer


The poem Strange Times was penned by veteran entertainer Paddy Cole in 2020 during Covid. Now, four years later the line ‘be patient, be positive, be brave’ is even more relevant as he bravely battles terminal cancer and encourages others fighting illnesses to try and do likewise.

Back doing his Sunday morning radio show on Dublin’s Sunshine Radio 106.8 FM at 9 am each weekend, working out music arrangements via the computer, going out for walks and to daily Mass during Lent plus planning trips down the country again are indicators of the positivity of Paddy Cole.

“Thank God since I went back doing the radio show again, it’s going great and I’m delighted to be back and getting a lot of very favourable comments and nice wishes from the listeners,” he says.
Paddy opens up about how dramatically the cancer diagnosis changed the landscape of his life and how he is coping, helped by music, radio, watching TV, reading as well as support from family and friends.
He agreed to open up about his illness in this interview for Ireland’s Own in the hope that it might provide some encouragement for others in their own health journeys.

“Doing interviews such as this one and others, especially one I did with Claire Byrne on radio recently, hopefully gets the word out there to encourage others to be positive.
“One man contacted me from Cork after I spoke with Claire Byrne regarding his brother who was going through a similar situation to mine. Subsequently that man’s brother came up and met me and over cups of coffee we compared notes about different aspects of our treatments.

“If my story can be encouraging to even one other person, then that’s great and I feel good about that,” says Paddy.
His positivity has obviously helped Paddy get back again to presenting his radio show in Dublin every Sunday morning and he regards his interaction with the listeners as being therapy in itself.
Apart from the radio work being therapy for Paddy, who can no longer play the sax on stage, the Internet is also a new way for connecting him with music.

“I’m looking at music charts on my phone or on the computer and going through them in my head, reading them and working out how I would play them. It’s almost as if I was sitting there playing that piece of music. I know that unfortunately I’ll never be playing them again on the sax but working out the arrangements on the screens keeps my mind going.

“Little things like that keep me busy. I also read a lot and watch TV, especially sports programmes, mostly Gaelic sport but I’m not too impressed with the way my native Monaghan are doing in football at present,” he laughed.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own