News Analysis

Tuesday 25 April 2017

A tale of the King(dom) and I . . .

In the second of a series of visits to the country's vibrant communities outside the capital, Barry Egan spends time in Killarney to talk to some of Kerry's glamouratti and gurus. And there's not an old goat in sight

Barry Egan is amongst women — from left, Mairead Breathnach, Clodagh Irwin-Owens and Kate Cooke
Barry Egan is amongst women — from left, Mairead Breathnach, Clodagh Irwin-Owens and Kate Cooke
Brian Bowler, General Manager of the Brehon and Liam Quinlan chat
Deputy Michael Healy-Rae and John O’Dwyer
Liam O’Connor and Darragh O Se
John O’Dwyer make a point in the Brehon hotel
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Kerry people have mastered the art of the put-down. Even on their own people, it transpires. "When dad became a football manager with Kildare," begins solicitor John O'Dwyer - referring to his legendary Kerry football God of a father 'Micko', possibly the greatest Gaelic football manager of the 20th Century with a statue in his honour in his hometown of Waterville - "a lot of the local people would have been quite irked that he had gone to Kildare. On the Sunday that he won the Leinster Championship with Kildare, they came back down to Newbridge and there were about 30,000 people."

Puck Fair had started in Killorglin and Micko was coming back to Waterville. As he drove into Killorglin, he came across a well-known character who lives in London, Christy Kissane. "Dad opened down the window, full of beans. Christy said to him: 'Well done yesterday.' My dad, replied, 'I know it was fantastic, We had 30,000 people in Newbridge when we brought the cup back.' 'Well,' said Christy, 'We had 40,000 here yesterday - looking up at a goat."

"So my dad closed up his window and drove on to Waterville."

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