Sadness and Gloom over North Kerry

December 29th, 2015
by Jack Hennessy

"It is with sadness and with the deepest of regret that the North Kerry Football Board, its officers, delegates, our sixteen clubs and all associated with the Board has unfortunately come to learn of the passing of two of our greatest Gaels at this time. The news filtered through on Monday evening December 28th of the passing of our late and esteemed chairman Der O' Connor R.I.P. of Ballinoe Tarbert. Despite having been ill for a period of time, little did we think that his final call would come so soon. Der served in umpteen capacities during his life as an officer both with his beloved Tarbert Club and also at District Board level in North Kerry. A man that was always treated in the highest regard, he brought humour understanding and friendliness in everything he done in his capacity as an officer at either Club or District level. If the term "an Officer and a gentleman" was to be used correctly, then Der would definitely be a worthy recipient of the phrase. He began his lead into North Kerry affairs in the early 70's by representing his club as a delegate to the board and St Patrick's hall was the venue for many a lively debate in those days. In the intervening years he served in various capacities within the club before becoming chairman in the early 80's. But as an officer in North Kerry Board his term did not begin until 1996 when he was appointed Development Officer taking over from Robert Barry (St Senans). He served in this position until the end of 1998.

The position of Chairman became vacant on the passing of the late Bernard O' Callaghan R.I.P. and prior to the 1999 Annual Convention Der decided to contest the position with the outgoing Vice Chairman John Stack. The result swinging in Der's favour, and so began his seven years at the helm of this Board which ended in January 2006. During that time there were many changes implemented, and he always ruled fairly in every issue. Indeed looking back now little did we think that within ten years we would lose such a man. He was instrumental in acquiring sponsorship for so many of our competitions and while he brought several new business people on board he also dug deep in his own pocket and sponsored the Junior Championship. He was fully supportive of the Team of the Championship which was introduced in 1999 and sponsored by the late Maurice Fitzgerald R.I.P. of the Lanterns Hotel in Tarbert. Today his daughter Una and her husband Greg continue that sponsorship as they are kind sponsors of The McMunn's sponsored North Kerry Senior Championship, while South of Ireland Waste Management sponsor the Intermediate competition. To those of us who had the pleasure of serving with him on the board and to the huge amount of friends he had all over the Country all we can say at this time is that "It was our pleasure to have known and served with him" and on behalf of all of us we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to his grieving family, relatives and wide circle of friends at this particular sad time.

Shortly afterwards we were again shocked beyond all belief on learning of the news of the passing of the young Moyvane football star Patrick (Paddy) Curtin R.I.P. As everybody was aware Paddy as he was more affectionately known as was involved in a serious accident while working in Guatemala shortly before Christmas. He was transferred from a Hospital in Guatemala to Miami over Christmas, but unfortunately sipped away from us on Monday 28th December. The 26 year old who last played for Moyvane in the North Kerry League Div. 2 Final in Ballylongford where they defeated Asdee in September of this year (2015), little knowing that this would be the last time he would don the Green and Gold Jersey. The Moyvane clubman represented his County in both Minor (2006/07), Under 21 (2009/10) Junior (2009) and made his Senior Championship debut against Tipperary in 2012 having made his National League debut earlier that year against Dublin. At Senior County Level Patrick made ten league and Six Championship appearances his last game with Kerry in 2013 against Cavan in Croke Park. To his heartbroken parents and family, his relatives and friends, his team mates and all in the Moyvane Club, his work colleagues and to all of us that had the pleasure of watching him and knowing him we extend our deepest sympathies at this sad and lonely time. "

May they Rest in Peace
Ar dheis dea go raibh a nAnmatha Dilis

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