Memory of Kay and Paddy is crystal clear in trophy

Rachel Conrad, Peter Conrad, Patsy Conrad, Molly Conrad, Michael Conrad, Alanna Kelleher and Kate Keane pictured with the Kay and Paddy ‘Fear’ Memorial Trophy at The Fertha Bar
Rachel Conrad, Peter Conrad, Patsy Conrad, Molly Conrad, Michael Conrad, Alanna Kelleher and Kate Keane pictured with the Kay and Paddy ‘Fear’ Memorial Trophy at The Fertha Bar

Tadhg Evans

For the family of the late Kay and Paddy O'Donoghue, this festive period is one tinged with emotion but no little pride that the popular couple's memory is taking on a new lease of life.

The family is known locally by the nickname "the fear breás", meaning "the fine men", and the chance to have one's name on the 'Kay and Paddy 'Fear' Memorial Trophy' will be there for the taking through an angling competition every June weekend - though the stunning Waterford Crystal piece itself will now have an apt permanent residence from the festive period onwards at The Ferth Bar, Cahersiveen.

It's over 20 years since Paddy and Kay were lost at sea having set off on a fishing trip from Coonanna, a tragedy that devastated all in Cahersiveen and the many more who knew them. And their daughter, Patsy, told The Kerryman of a couple that helped many travelling to London to find their feet.

"They had a huge circle of friends," she said. "Before they came over from London in 1972, they managed accommodation and my Dad was a foreman, so they provided accommodation and work to 100s and 100s of people trying to find their way in England. My mum also cooked at social services in Cahersiveen, and if people were unable to travel, she often saw to it that food was sent out to them.

"My son works in construction in England and when he started out in his current job on a rail tunnel project, the man he works for got talking to him and happened to know my mom and dad - my dad used to bring him out fishing.

"I was really taken aback, but it shows how fondly they are remembered. They would help anyone and everyone."

The links between The Fertha Bar management, and Kay and Paddy's family have been of iron-strength for many decades; the couple had no little fun at the location, so it's no wonder Patsy sees the pub as a perfect permanent home for the gorgeous trophy holding her parents' names.

"They fished, and sold fish from 1973 until they died," she said of her parents. "They had a huge circle of friends. It will now be displayed in a cabinet at the Fertha with its brand new base and photographs of both.

"Words fail me in describing how much this means to my family and I. My husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve, so all my family are home to celebrate. Everyone knows their story, and the town was as devastated as we were at what happened because their kindness was respected by everyone. But thanks to this relaunch, their memory will live on forever."

Kerryman

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