Crosbie, Patrick (‘Paddy’) (1913–82), teacher, humorist, and broadcaster, was born 1 October 1917 at 12A Bridewell Lane, Dublin, third among three sons and one daughter of Martin Crosbie, foreman-fitter, and Elizabeth (Lily) Crosbie (née Corcoran). He was educated at Stanhope St. Convent national school, and then with the help of a Dublin corporation scholarship at North Brunswick St. CBS. This scholarship also took him to the Gaeltacht in Ballingeary, Co. Cork, fostering a lifelong commitment to the Irish language. He proceeded to St Patrick's teacher training college, Drumcondra, Dublin, and UCD (BA 1937). He then returned to teach in North Brunswick St., eventually becoming principal. He retired in December 1978, having spent fifty-six years in the school as both teacher and pupil.
In the 1930s he began writing for various comedy acts, among them Noel Purcell (qv) at the Theatre Royal. By the 1950s he was performing at the Olympia, Capitol, and Royal and on Radio Éireann, creating the schoolboy characters Mucky Dunn and Snodser Quinn. Such characters, and his general obsession with schooldays and schoolchildren, led him to be dubbed ‘Mr Boyhood’. ‘The school around the corner’, the programme that was to make him a household name, was first broadcast on Radio Éireann in 1954, with a format consisting of Crosbie's interviews with schoolchildren and their performing of party pieces. In 1962 it successfully transferred to the new Telefís Éireann, running till 1966 and topping the TAM ratings throughout. He received a Jacob's award (1965) as creator of the programme. He devised other, less popular, programmes – ‘Back to school’, ‘Paddy's playground’, and ‘Tug o' words’ – and had a number of books published including Tales from the school around the corner (1979) and the autobiographical Your dinner's poured out (1981). He died at home in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, 2 September 1982, leaving an estate of £58,603. He married (1944) Peg Smith; they had five daughters and two sons.