Saturday 3 December 2016

Killarney feast proves nothing beats being there

Joe Molloy

Published 08/07/2015 | 02:30

Legendary Radio Kerry presenter Weeshie Fogarty gives history lesson on Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney
Legendary Radio Kerry presenter Weeshie Fogarty gives history lesson on Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney

Over recent Sundays I've had the pleasure of being at games, as opposed to watching from studio. Just this weekend we did the show from Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, which was buzzing as Munster football final day collided with the Ring of Kerry cycle weekend.

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The highlight for me was spending some time with the great Weeshie Fogarty of Radio Kerry. What was naively meant to be a quick five-minute chat turned into more. We agreed the 'New Press Box', now in its 15th year, needs a new name. Most extraordinary though was the history lesson he provided about Fitzgerald Stadium. Just metres from the pitch is a huge grey building which once served as a hospital for patients with mental illnesses of various kinds.

Weeshie worked there for nearly 40 years. It turns out that the patients in the 1930s actually built the stadium. According to Weeshie, Dr Eamonn O'Sullivan, who also managed Kerry to eight All-Irelands, was trialling occupational therapy. He believed that "manual work, men and football all went together in Kerry". Extraordinary stuff. Nothing beats being there and all that.

Irish Independent

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