independent

Saturday 25 October 2014

TV star's father receives Seana Ghael award

maria pepper

Published 14/01/2014 | 05:38

Dermot, presenter of ‘The X-Factor’
Sean and Marie O’Leary at the Seana Ghael awards ceremony in The Ferrycarrig Hotel on Sunday.

The father of British TV presenter Dermot O' Leary was honoured at the weekend for his contribution to Wexford GAA.

A proud Sean O' Leary travelled from his home in Colchester, Essex, with his wife Marie to accept a Sean Ghael Award in the Ferrycarrig Hotel on Sunday.

The Tuskar View native and former Wexford CBS student, who is now 71 years old, played with the Faythe Harriers in the 1960s before emigrating to England.

He passed his love of gaelic games on to his celebrity son, the X-Factor presenter, who has accompanied him to Croke Park matches on occasion.

In the award citation presented to Sean in the presence of Bishop Denis Brennan and other dignatories, he was described as a 'star performer' who won three county senior hurling medals with his club.

The citation recalld his 'innate capacity to prise open the tightest defence with his bewildering turn of speed, his control when in possession of the ball and his superb sidestep.

'With his blonde head he stood out like a beacon and every game he played in he was a marked man.

'However, once he gained control of the ball it was almost impossible to dispossess him. One wonders what he could have achieved if he had stayed in Wexford, because he was just 25 years old when he left our shores.'

In England, Sean lined out with Fr. Murphys and with the London county side from 1968 to 1971, later becoming a selector and committee member for both teams.

He has maintained a life-long interest in gaelic games and the fortunes of the Faythe Harriers and Wexford hurling teams in particular.

His two brothers Fintan and Dermot also played with the Harriers.

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