'Something exceptional' - Sad farewell to tragic Kerry football star
The Kerry village of Moyvane came to a standstill to bid a final farewell to local footballer Patrick Curtin, who died following a car accident in Guatemala before Christmas.
The electrician (26) had played at all levels - minor, junior, under-21 and senior - and made six championship and 10 league appearances for Kerry. More than 1,000 mourners gathered at the Church of the Assumption for his funeral mass yesterday.
Former Kerry GAA chairman Sean Walsh said the death of Mr Curtin was felt "in the hearts, bones and minds" of the people of north Kerry. "His football colleagues idolised Paddy. In every club, in every parish, we look out for the one. From a very young age, it was obvious to everyone in north Kerry that Paddy Curtin was something exceptional," Mr Walsh said.
Patrick (26), from the village of Moyvane, is understood to have fallen from a moving vehicle in Guatemala last Friday.
Local sources say he was a passenger in a car but somehow fell from it in a tragic accident. As the area was so remote, it was some time before an ambulance could reach him.
After the accident, Patrick was in a coma in a local hospital but was then airlifted to Miami in the US for more specialised treatment. His family flew to Miami where they kept a vigil at his hospital bedside as he remained in a coma.
Sadly, his injuries proved too grave and he passed away.
Patrick had been working in Guatemala with the Liebherr Container Crane company, who have a factory in Killarney.
He had been in Guatemala with a team from the company since September.
He represented Kerry at every level and was a member of the Gaelic Players Association during his period with the county senior team in 2012 and 2013.
He played at minor level in 2006 and 2007 before moving on to Under 21 in 2009.
He made his senior debut against Dublin in 2012. In all, he made six Championship and 10 League appearances for the Kingdom.
His father John works with Kerry County Council and he is also survived by his mother Eileen and two sisters.
Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan said that Mr Curtin would be a huge loss to his community.
"I know his family very well and I coached a team that he played in," said the minister.
"He was an excellent footballer," he added.
The minister said that Mr Curtin's death was a terrible tragedy.
"Patrick was a skilled crafts person and a very professional and valued employee at Liebherr, so he will be hugely missed by all of us."