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BBC Sports tribute to legend Paidi

GAA football legend Paidi O Se was remembered among the greats of sport at the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Awards last night.

The legendary GAA star, who was 57, died suddenly of a suspected heart attack on Saturday.

He was shown in a montage of sporting heroes who had died during the year. Also included was Ulster rugby player Nevin Spence, who died in a farming accident earlier this year.

Just hours earlier, Paidi's remains had been returned to his Ventry home. His devastated wife Maire, daughters Neasa and Siun, and son Padraig Og were being comforted by their extended family last night.

He will lie in repose at home today before being taken to Naomh Caitriona Church tomorrow for noon Mass.

This will be his final visit to the same church where he married, made his First Holy Communion and was even baptised.

Neighbours and the GAA world have rallied round to offer their condolences. A framed photograph of the eight-times All-Ireland winner with former Taoiseach Charles Haughey lay on a small table near a book of condolence.

He will be buried in Relig Caitriona in his native Ventry in west Kerry.

Tributes have been paid from all sectors of society, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins praising his enormous contribution to sport in Ireland.


The President described him as a man with "a reputation that went far beyond his great achievements in sport and far beyond the boundaries of his own beloved county".

Former Kerry football manager Mick O'Dwyer described Paidi as "something special".

Hundreds of mourners are expected at his home today and gardai will have diversions in place early, with delays expected.

A one-way system will operate from Sears Cross in Ventry and cars will be directed back to Dingle over the Clasach next to Paidi's shop and back to Dingle by an alternative route.

Tomorrow, An Ghaeltacht GAA club will organise a bus service between the church and the graveyard.

Paidi is understood to have complained of chest pains on Saturday before he was found by his wife and taken to Kerry General Hospital.

Hundreds of fans left messages on his website www.paidiose.com where an online book of condolences has been set up.

Considered one of the all-time Kerry greats, O Se was part of the famous team of the 1970s and 1980s trained by Mick O'Dwyer.