As a young boy growing up in Wexford during the sixties, two
annual events literally lit up the life of Pat Whelan and hundreds of his
contemporaries. Both were integral parts of the Wexford Festival Opera but to
any ten year old they were two tickets to the magical world of a child's mind.
The long forgotten Guinness Clock was a firm favourite but for Pat and
generations of Wexfordians, it was "the Fireworks" that caused the pulse to race
and the eyes to sparkle.
In 1985 when Pat
became Administrator of Wexford Festival Opera he vowed to return to the
children the magic of "the Fireworks" on the opening night of the Opera
Festival. However it proved to be a harder task than he imagined, but
undeterred and having overcome many obstacles, the Fireworks Display of 1987
was to be the turning point that slowly redefined Pat Whelan's life. An
opportunity glimpsed then gradually presented itself until it finally became
a reality five years later.
His term of office as Administrator over, and tired of office
life, Pat decided that with no firework company based in the Republic of Ireland
he would start his own company. Thus "Nationwide Fireworks" came into being.
Training trips to England were the norm for the next year as
Pat went about learning the theory and safe practice for the planning, site
preparation, professional firing and site clearance for Fireworks Displays of
all sizes. Another year followed where Pat fired shows all over Ireland
accompanied by seasoned professional from the UK. The final requirement was to
have a Safety Audit carried out. Safety is Nationwide Fireworks number one
priority and the company has its own Public Liability Insurance to the tune of
€10m for any one claim. Safety Clearance attained and Insurance in place,
Nationwide Fireworks set forth as an independent company ready for action.
For fifteen years now Pat and his teams have fired all over
Ireland and on occassions they have teamed up with international companies from
Australia, France, U.K., Spain, Colombia and the USA who have needed specialists
based in the Republic of Ireland.
Pat also has an ADR Licence for the transporting of explosives
and hazardous goods.