Monday 26 September 2016

The great and the good turn out to celebrate the 27th Páidí Ó Sé tournament

Laura Larkin

Published 26/01/2016 | 21:31

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mícheál Ó Muircheartiagh at the launch of the 27th PhoneWatch Comortas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2016
Pic: Maxwell Photography/Julien Behal
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mícheál Ó Muircheartiagh at the launch of the 27th PhoneWatch Comortas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2016 Pic: Maxwell Photography/Julien Behal
Pádraig Óg Ó Sé with his cousin Kerry footballer Marc Ó Sé' posing beside the Páidí Ó Sé statue at Church Cross, Ventry on the Dingle Peninsula ahead of the 27th PhoneWatch Comortas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2016

A host of well known faces turned out to celebrate this year's Comortas Peile Páidí Ó Sé tournament tonight.

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The famous footballing competition, now in its 27th year, was set up by the legendary Kerry footballer and now continues in his memory.

Every year dozens of footballers descend on West Kerry from Ireland and abroad for the event, to date some 12,000 people have taken part down through the years.

Paidi's son, Padraig Og, addressed those gathered to mark the event which he said keeps his late dad's spirit alive each year. 

Pádraig Óg Ó Sé with his cousin Kerry footballer Marc Ó Sé' posing beside the Páidí Ó Sé statue at Church Cross, Ventry on the Dingle Peninsula ahead of the 27th PhoneWatch Comortas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2016
Pádraig Óg Ó Sé with his cousin Kerry footballer Marc Ó Sé' posing beside the Páidí Ó Sé statue at Church Cross, Ventry on the Dingle Peninsula ahead of the 27th PhoneWatch Comortas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2016

"The O Se family knows that Paidi's legacy in the GAA is as strong today as if was when he was alive." he said.

“Possibly his greatest achievement, not listed on any plaque, was putting his part of west Kerry on the map as a unique and wonderful place to visit. By doing this he has helped turn a sleepy crossroads into a focal point of fun and friendship for so many people down through the years.”

As is tradition the Taoiseach Enda Kenny was on hand to launch the competition.

Amid jokes about Mayo’s chances for winning Sam this year Mr Kenny told guests that the 2016 centenary would be a good year for his home county to win the Comortas for the first time.

Though he wouldn't be drawn on the election date Mr Kenny joked that both those readying for the GAA competition and the political battle at the polls  would need to draw on Luke Skywalker's motto 'the force awakens' as both got underway.

The Taoiseach said that he didn't need for extol the well-known virtues of the GAA hero as he paid tribute to his legacy in sport.

Both the comortas and the life-size statue of Paidi outside the family pub, which was unveiled last year, would ensure that “the spirit of this tyrue icon of Irish sport would live well into the future,” Mr Kenny said.

The tournament will take place in Dingle from February 19 to 21 and teams from 13 counties will take part in the competition this year.

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