Friday 21 July 2017

The Deenihan verdict on...

His conversion to defence: "As I had played most of my underage club football with Finuge and St Michael's College as a forward or midfielder, when I was selected at corner-back on the Kerry minor team in 1970, I decided to become the type of defender that I didn't like playing against.



"As a forward, I always preferred being marked by a defender who followed the movement of the ball rather than my movements -- in other words, a ball-watcher.

"I didn't like a marker who stayed tight on me for the duration of the game, more or less breathing down my neck."

Mick O'Dwyer

"Mick O'Dwyer is justifiably ranked as one of the greatest managers ever in the history of Gaelic football. To me, he is the greatest and he has the track record to prove it."

The other side of glory

"After the 1976 All-Ireland final we soon discovered how fickle public opinion can be. That night, in the Grand Hotel in Malahide, following our defeat, a few of the players were verbally abused by disgruntled Kerry supporters, while Pat Spillane had a pint of beer poured over his head."

1978 New York clash

with the Dubs

"I didn't emerge from the game intact as Pat O'Neill, the Dublin half-back, broke my nose. That night I had arranged to meet Fran Ryder in Rosie O'Grady's Bar in downtown Manhattan.

"Pat O'Neill happened to be there too, and during the course of the night, he passed a message to me through Fran that he was very sorry for striking me and that it was a case of mistaken identity; as visibility was bad, he had mistaken me for Paidi O Se."

Cupid fires an

arrow in 1982

"Later that evening of November 5, I was doing a keep-fit class with a group of women in Horan's Hotel in Tralee when Patsy McKenna, a local Fine Gael activist, rang me.

"He said he wanted to meet me after the class with Mary Dowling, a local teacher and daughter of John Dowling, the former Kerry footballer. I agreed and we met at Horan's restaurant.

"Mary was accompanied by her sister Antoinette. I had met her briefly a few times previously, but this was the first time that I spoke to her. I gathered that Patsy and other members of the Fine Gael organisation felt that both Mary and I would make the ideal ticket for the election and Patsy was very forceful about this during our conversation.

"Little did I realise that Mary and I would get married four years later. Finbar Fitzpatrick, national organiser for Fine Gael at the time, said that I had married the one person who could take the Dail seat from me."

The Sam Maguire Cup

going missing

"By now Tom O'Donoghue had made contact through his many political connections with the FBI and I was directed to meet Detective Bill Novotney of the 50th precinct.

"I called to his office at a particularly bad time as he had two murder investigations on his hands. 'What do you expect me to do', he said, 'drop everything and go looking for a football trophy?'"

(This relates to Feale Rangers bringing Sam to the USA in 1981; the cup disappeared from a safe in Gaelic Park, New York. After a storm of controversy, it mysteriously reappeared wrapped in a black plastic refuse sack back at Gaelic Park).

Irish Independent

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