Patrick grew up among the apple orchards in Co. Armagh. His early teenage years were spent working evenings, weekends and school holidays in the family business which had developed from selling fruit from door to door; before expanding on to the wholesale fruit markets in Belfast and Dublin.
Patrick is founder and MD of Simplyfruit (Ire) Ltd, based in Craigavon, Co. Armagh. The business has grown from a small start-up venture in 1990 to the largest fruit processing company in Ireland, with annual sales in excess of £10m and over 100 employees.
Having left school at 17, Patrick belatedly recognised the importance of formal education and at 26, he enrolled part-time at Queens University, Belfast. Graduating with a BA degree, he was also awarded the “Abatti” prize for ‘most worthy student’ in recognition of his achievement, after he had overcome life threatening injuries in a car accident half way through his six year course.
Patrick is also involved in sport with a passion for horseracing and GAA. In 2011, he developed Brookland Stables, his own private equine centre to train and breed thoroughbred racehorses. He is also the main sponsor of the Armagh County GAA teams and is involved with Portadown Rugby Club.
Patrick is also Chairman of his local Parish Council.
Patrick is married to Colette, who is a Director in the business and they have four children – the eldest two have recently joined the company.