Falloon, Cecil Samuel Gordon ('Paddy') (1911–2003), businessman, hotelier, and restorer of historic buildings, was born 10 July 1911 in Camly Macullagh, a townland near Newtownhamilton in south Co. Armagh, younger son and youngest of four children of Samuel Falloon, farmer, and his wife Esther Anne (née Purdy). The family was Church of Ireland. One of his sisters brought her young brother to live with her in England and be educated there, and so he attended grammar school in Brackley, Northamptonshire. His first job was in a men's outfitters shop in England, but by the age of nineteen he was in business on his own account; he soon established one of the first all-night petrol stations in England, on the outskirts of Oxford. During his sojourn in England, he picked up the nickname 'Paddy', by which he was known in later life; his family called him Cecil, and he also used the name Gordon on occasion.
After two years in South Africa, he returned to Ireland and established a series of business ventures; he had a farm in Kildalkey, Co. Meath, where he bred Kerry cattle, and in 1956 he bought a brickworks in Toomebridge, Co. Antrim, which had been bankrupt, but became successful under Falloon's guidance. Among his many interests was architecture, and during his career he lived in and restored several eighteenth-century buildings; he even owned and redeveloped two small villages, Crawfordsburn, Co. Down, and Dunadry, Co. Antrim. He was for some time the owner of Crawfordsburn Country Club, but then concentrated on renovating and revitalising the seventeenth-century Old Inn at Crawfordsburn. In 1957 he bought the village of Dunadry with twenty cottages and derelict mill buildings for £2,500. In 1966, he opened the Dunadry Hotel, in buildings which had been a paper mill founded before 1747 by James Blow (qv). In the 1960s and 1970s, both the Dunadry Hotel and the Crawfordsburn Inn became bywords in Ulster for their good food, comfort, and character, a combination unusual in local hotels at the time.
Falloon became one of the best-known businessmen in Northern Ireland, noted for his charm and goodhumoured wit, his interests in cultural life and his wide-ranging friendships. With his friends Brum Henderson (qv) and William MacQuitty (qv) he was one of the founders of Ulster Television (UTV), and served on the board of the company (1959–81). In the early days of UTV, he often took part in chat shows, generally expressing liberal and even iconoclastic views; his awareness of the heritage of the whole island was unusual in 1960s Ulster. He was a member of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and of the Ulster Countryside Committee (1971–4). He donated thousands of bricks to build the new Abbey Theatre in Dublin (opened in 1966) and the original Lyric Theatre in Belfast. In the same year that he was a founder member of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (1967), he was elected an honorary member of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects, in recognition of his commitment and enthusiasm in the restoration of historic buildings; this was before he undertook the ambitious refurbishment of the fire-damaged Millicent House, near Sallins, Co. Kildare. He moved there after 1975, technically in retirement, and with unabated energy tackled the problems of architectural restoration. He was ahead of his time in his interest in all aspects of the environment; he saw the need to protect the countryside from urban sprawl, and appealed for the protection of hedgerows and vernacular buildings. His strongly held opinions were vented in many characteristic letters to the Irish Times. 'Damnable' was a word frequently used, as he lamented what he saw as the decline in standards of public life in the south of Ireland, as well as the divisions and violence in the north; the tribalism of organised religion in Ulster appalled him.
He and his wife moved in 1999 to the Bell House, Great Milton, Oxfordshire; he died in England on 21 March 2003. At a memorial service in Ireland in June 2003, one of several tributes was delivered by the Nobel laureate, Seamus Heaney, a friend since the 1960s.
Falloon married three times. His first marriage (c.1941) to Yvonne Calvert lasted less than two years; there was a daughter. His second marriage (1947) at St-Martin-in-the Fields, London, was to Helen Owles, who was born in Malaya, daughter of an English engineer, Thomas Owles, OBE; they had two sons and a daughter, but were divorced after 1972. On 4 November 1977 he married in Bath, England, Jane Helen Chichester-Clark (née Goddard), a writer, daughter of Air Marshall Sir Victor Goddard. She had been married to Robin Chichester-Clark, Westminster MP for Londonderry (1955–74), and brother of James Dawson Chichester-Clark (qv); they had three children.