Sunday 16 December 2018

Kerry mourns GAA legend Weeshie

Kerry Gaelic football icon Weeshie Fogarty died aged 77
Kerry Gaelic football icon Weeshie Fogarty died aged 77

John O'Mahony

The voice of Kerry football, Weeshie Fogarty, has died at the age of 77.

The GAA legend died at his home in Killarney, Co Kerry, yesterday.

In a lifetime devoted to Gaelic games, Weeshie was a player for club and county, a team trainer, selector, club official, referee, analyst, newspaper columnist and, finally, a colourful broadcaster, bringing the game to life in the sitting rooms and kitchens of thousands of homes in his own unique fashion through his commentaries on Radio Kerry.

He won several awards for his broadcasting skills and was inducted into the McNamee Awards Hall of Fame in 2016 for his lifelong contribution to the GAA.

The Killarney Legion clubman played senior football for Kerry and he won Kerry County Championship medals with East Kerry.

He was also on the East Kerry panel that beat Bryansford of Down to win the first All-Ireland club football final in 1971.

He lined out as Kerry goalkeeper from 1969 to 1971.

When his playing days ended, Weeshie went on to become one of the top inter-county referees, taking charge of the whistle for three All-Ireland football semi-finals, before turning his hand to broadcasting.

A psychiatric nurse by profession, he worked in St Finan's Hospital in Killarney, which overlooks Fitzgerald Stadium where he made a seat in the commentary box his own over the past 20 years.

Weeshie's 'Terrace Talk' programme on Radio Kerry was hugely popular and he also penned a number of books, including his autobiography, 'My Beautiful Obsession'.

In a statement, Killarney Legion said: "The word legend is sometimes over-used but Weeshie Fogarty was a club legend and his passing leaves a huge void."

He is survived by his wife Joan, son Kieran, and daughters Denise and Carolann.

Irish Independent

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