I WAS delighted when I read the news that Christy Kennedy has been chosen to lead the St Patrick's Day Parade in Fermoy on March 17th.
Here is a man who has achieved a lot in his time since his schooldays in the old Oliver Plunkett Hill NS, a brilliant soccer player, he played with Fermoy in several town leagues.
He was the cornerstone of the great Railway Rovers teams before he played with the renowned Plunkett's team in the one competition which is still being played for each year in the Town, the Noble Cup.
While Christy was playing with his local pals in Fermoy, his skills and his artistry were not missed by those in higher places and so Christy was selected to play for Ireland at junior international level for which incidentally he received his official "cap" only recently from the FAI.
He was constantly being trailed by the senior clubs for his services, nevertheless Christy was always happier to play with his pals in the Fermoy club for whom he has served with distinction in the capacity of juvenile coach for many years.
His attention to the boys between 6 and 10 year olds has been showing rich dividends for the club in recent years, none more so than in the year just passed when the club had perhaps its best year ever in the Munster Senior and Junior Leagues with both teams winning promotion to their respective Premier Divisions as well as performing very well in a number of important Cup competitions.
Club members will readily acknowledge that the work that Christy does at ground level shone through brightly on those occasions.
Never one to seek the limelight, the extremely humble Christy does a lot of good works in the area most of which go completely unnoticed by many.
That is the hallmark of the type of gentleman that he undoubtedly is. No doubt his good wife Breda and the family will give him all the support possible and like his brothers and sisters who grew up with him at their home in St Bernard's Place, where incidentally Christy still resides with Breda and family, will be filled with pride and maybe some of them will use the occasion to celebrate with Christy and the friends as part of this year's "Gathering".
Hopefully the local organisers will have some bit of craic lined up for this special occasion, what a pity that some of them have already passed to their eternal reward, I know they would have loved it.
So it is congratulations to Christy on his well merited selection as the Grand Marshall on St Patrick's Day. This Parade which has been ongoing for over thirty years or so, has been getting bigger and better by the year and this can be judged by the vast crowds who come out to watch it each year and enjoy the fun, the music and the general buzz of excitement it creates for a few hours each year.
If any club, group or organisation wishes to take part in this year's event you should get in touch with the committee which is led by Chairman John Murphy, Sec Donal O Lochlainn and Treasurer Diarmuid Gowen as soon as possible.