alexandrianews.org Editorial

Pat Troy was proud of being an American, an Alexandrian, an Irishman, a Catholic, and a businessman.  He was never shy about letting people know his opinions on those issues which mattered most to him.  Alexandria was far the better for it.  His kind has grown increasingly rare – a person of honor and decency, generous to charitable causes such as his church and the public safety community, and a genuinely delightful man to those who had the privilege to know him.

Pat Troy immigrated to this country almost 60 years ago after having worked as a butler at Birr Castle in Ireland. He owned and operated The Irish Walk store and Ireland’s Own Pub and Restaurant, a beloved hang out for more than a few City Hall politicians after late night Council meetings. He lived and worked in Old Town and was protective of its historic character but he was not an elitist. He knew it to be a living community made rich by the small business owners he saw as “the life blood of the city”. In 2003, he ran for City Council on a pro-business platform and as a longtime Republican. Though he was unsuccessful, there are many who believe his no-nonsense approach to issues would have brought both energy and a strong dose of common sense to Council meetings.

Mr. Troy served in important positions with both the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and the Alexandria Visitor Center. He was instrumental in establishing the St. Patrick’s Day Parade 37 year ago, an event that draws thousands to Alexandria and its businesses, and he founded the Ballyshaners to raise funds for the parade and to promote Irish culture. He never tried to assimilate his Irish accent and it only enhanced his wit, charm and sometimes salty irreverence as he held forth on events affecting his beloved city and adopted country. His keen sense of humor brought smiles to the dourest of faces. 

Pat Troy often noted that “Alexandria’s history is filled with the contributions of the Irish people who lived here. It is appropriate that we celebrate and recognize their contributions”. And thus we celebrate and recognize Mr. Troy, a beloved and fiery icon whose likes this City will sorely miss and not see again any time soon. God speed and thank you, Pat.