FROM Dolly Parton to Charlie Haughey – Paidi O Se was as comfortable with both. In fact, he was equal to any of the celebrities he met and whose photographs grace the walls of his famous pub in Ard a'Bothar in Ventry.
Growing up together in Kerry, I knew him all my life.
Paidi as the youngest in his family was the apple of his mother Beatrice's eye. He was always the pet of the family and everyone saw him as that.
As a child, his one ambition was to play football for Kerry. His life was consumed by football; he felt all the victories and all the defeats. They went straight to his heart. He was an extraordinarily forceful personality and was completely driven in every part of his life.
Paidi was a man for all seasons and was the bridging point of bringing together Gaeilge, the Gaeltacht, passion, family and football. He brought the same passion to all these points of his life.
The opening of his pub in Dun Chaoin was a great occasion and then again when he opened the one at the crossroads in Ard a'Bothar in Ventry. There was a great atmosphere in that pub and those photographs on the walls show how comfortable he was with anyone he met.
Paidi's older brother, Micheal, died a young man and now Paidi's death is going to bring all these sad memories flooding back for Micheal's sons, Marc, Tomas and Darragh O'Se.
These are tough times for all the people in the locality and for Kerry. It's like the death of a lion, really. Paidi was a lion of a man. But it's in the nature of all Gaeltacht people, reared in a hard climate and in hard times to be resilient and no doubt the family will be strong enough to survive this blow.
Joe O'Toole is a former senator