Weeshies world just gets better

October 7th, 2014
by Weeshie Fogarty

We bid a final sad farewell to a great Killarney Legion man last Friday when Mick o Sullivan affectingly known to his wide circle of friends as "Mick The Gun" was laid to rest. Mick who came from a staunch GAA family wore the green and gold as a Kerry minor in 1957 died after a short illness in the loving care of his wife and children. An outstanding footballer, he also represented Kerry at basketball. I had the privilege of being one of his team mates when we won a rare East Kerry Championship o Donoghue Cup in 1957 and he was one of the shinning stars in that march to final victory. He had been selected at right corner forward for the Kerry minors and in their opening game against Tipperary in Mallow the Legion star scored 2-3 as his side coasted to an easy win. Mick won his Munster championship medal when Cork were defeated in Thurles but Armagh proved too good in the All Ireland semi-final on a 3-7 to 3-5 score line.

Some of his team mates on that panel included Killarney men Con o Meara, Con Clifford, John McCarthy and Mick's great boyhood friend Lui Nolan. Other names from all those years ago on that minor squad were Austin McMahon, Pat Dowling, Bernie o Callaghan, Pa Kerins, Jer  D o Connor, Ollie Kerins, Jerry o Riordan, Sean Og Sheehy, Jimmy Hegarty, Dave Geaney, Sean Dunn, Alan Conway and the captain was Jack Whelan.

Mick was one of the founder members of the renowned Killarney Busby Babes basketball team of the fifties and sixties who went on to win Killarney, Kerry and Munster titles and it was he who received a personal letter wishing the side success and set of jerseys from the legendary Manchester United manager of the time Matt Busby. Mick was a member of the Garda Síochána for a number of years, he also spent time in America and in his latter years he was a well loved and highly respected boat man on the Killarney lakes plying his trade from famed Ross castle. It was here that he was at his happiest and many the summers' day I sat and chatted with him as lake waters lapped at our feet reliving past battles and discussing the state of Kerry football and life in general. He loved Kerry and was a staunch follower of Kerry football and traveled to Croke Park on a regular basis.

Mick o Sullivan was a huge part of my young sporting life in Killarney; he was in many ways a special person and always spoke his mind. The holy season of Lent was very important to him, a man who liked his pint; he always gave up the drink during Lent and attended mass every morning. Many the Sunday I would met him after mass in the Friary and drop him down to Ross Castle as another week entertaining tourist from all parts of the world began at the spot he loved most of all.  At the moving of the remains both Thursday and Friday a Guard of Honour of his former Legion team mates escorted his coffin draped in the green and white flag of the club he loved so much. May the sod of Adhadoe rest lightly on this exemplary Killarney man and too his wife Joanie, son John, daughter Ella, sisters and extend family we offer our deepest sympathies.

Winter arrived in Kerry last week-end with a vengeance bringing an end to what as been a long and glorious summer and the footballers of West Kerry and Austin Stacks played their County Championship quarter-final during the very worse of the storm which pounded Fitzgerald Stadium. It was impossible to really gauge how good the Stacks are, one of the favorites to lift the title but they played nice controlled football with Kieran Donaghy, Wayne Guthrie. Michael Collins leading the way to a very convincing and comprehensive victory for Stephen Stacks side. They led from the first whistle and never looked like losing. Their semi-final with Dingle with be a close affair as the West Kerry men who stunned The Legion with that last grasp goal will find that game will bring them on a ton. They were on top at mid field against the lake side boys and had they taken their first half opportunities would probably have won easier. Mark and Patrick o Connor and then Geaney boys have plenty youth and speed for the Tralee men and it should be a cracker of a semi-final. Manager Sean o Flannura has his men playing nice fast skillful football with up and coming mid fielder Barra o Suilleabhain continuing to blossom.   The Legion also have plenty youth and young blood in their ranks and can only get better and Pedar Keane and his men will have learned a salutary lesson as to how to cross the finishing line when two points ahead and the final seconds just seconds away.

I was very impressed by Mid Kerry in their win over Laune Rangers and James Sheehan is doing a superb job with the divisional side. In Donnacha Walsh, my player of the weekend, Garry Sayers, Gavin o Grady, Darren and Sean o Sullivan and minor star Liam Carey they have the scoring power to go all the way. The great Mike Frank Russell continues to serve his club Laune Rangers with continuous dedication and must have been the longest serving county championship man over the weekend. Liam Hassetts team building will go on for another few years, they as expected battled to the final whistle and might have had at least two more goals and the Mid Kerry defense might prove to be their Achilles heel before the Bishop Moynihan cup is handed over.

Fifty years ago this years (a story for another day) I was on the East Kerry team beaten by Shannon Rangers in the county final and judging by their superb win over South Kerry last Saturday these North Kerry men are quite capable of causing an upset against Mid Kerry in the semi-final. The are very fit, fresh, tremendous hard working all over the field, incredible belief in them selves  and with such an inspirational captain in Shane Enright who knows what they are capable of. This win will give then huge confidence and while Mid Kerry will begin as favorites the Rangers will push them to the very limits. I spoke to joint manager Liam Weir after the game and is obvious where they lads get their all action game from as Liam oozes with enthusiasm, passion and self belief. It will be a club/divisional county final with a new Kerry captain to be decided and an All Ireland club campaign waiting if the club side win out.  

Weeshie's world just gets better

IN his own inimitable way he brought news of Kerry's double All-Ireland success into the kitchens and sitting rooms of the county but popular broadcaster Weeshie Fogarty is today celebrating an All-Ireland success of his very own.

There were scenes of great jubilation when his fast-paced Terrace Talk programme scooped the top award at the prestigious PPI Radio Awards in Kilkenny on Friday night.

The O'Sullivan's Place man's unmistakable voice and unique take on GAA and other sporting matters light up every Monday evening for his legion of fans as the Killarney broadcaster shares his knowledge and put his brilliant interviewing skills to good use.

And his popularity did not go unnoticed by the PPI awards adjudicators who chose Terrace Talk as the sports programme of the year at the ceremony in the plush Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny.

Weeshie, who was also shortlisted for the sports broadcaster of the year award, beat off stiff opposition from Today FM's Premier League Live show and Newstalk's Off The Ball to clinch the award and it sparked great celebrations for the Radio Kerry crew in attendance at the black tie ceremony.

To make the event even more memorable Radio Kerry was voted local radio station of the year while JJ O'Shea was awarded silver in the specialist music programme category for his show The Global Village.

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