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New Tralee skatepark to be named after Irish skating legend Bruce ‘Ox’ Kelliher

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The late Bruce 'Ox' Kelliher. The new skatepark in the Irish skating legend's hometown of Tralee is to be named in his honour

The late Bruce 'Ox' Kelliher. The new skatepark in the Irish skating legend's hometown of Tralee is to be named in his honour

The late Bruce 'Ox' Kelliher. The new skatepark in the Irish skating legend's hometown of Tralee is to be named in his honour

kerryman

The family of Tralee skateboarding legend Bruce ‘Ox’ Kelliher said he would be honoured that the town’s new skate park is to be named after him.

Bruce Kelliher – an internationally renowned skater widely thought to be Ireland’s greatest ever – passed away suddenly in January aged just 48.

The father of three was originally from Oakpark and learned to skate in and around Tralee, quickly earning a reputation as one of the best and most daring skateboarders in the country.

He was a regular feature in skateboarding magazines and in 2000 his most famous stunt – skating down the arch of Our Ladies Bridge in Kenmare – was immortalised with the double page photo spread in US skateboarding ‘Bible’ Slap magazine.

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Though he had moved to Galway from Tralee he always remained passionate about the provision of a skatepark for the town.

This was recognised at this week’s monthly meeting of Tralee Municipal District (TMD) council when members unanimously approved a proposal that the long awaited skate park, at the Tralee Sports Complex, be named in his honour.

The call had come from the members of Tralee Skateboard Community Group (TSCG) who were deeply saddened by his sudden death and wanted to honour his legacy.

“Bruce grew up in Ard na Lí, a short distance from the sports complex. It seems fitting that the park would be dedicated in his name, not only for his efforts and input to the project throughout the years but as a gesture of gratitude from the local and national Irish skateboarding community,” said Justin McCarthy of the TSCG.

Speaking on behalf of the Kelliher family Bruce’s brother Graham said he would have greatly appreciated the honour.

“If the youngsters of Tralee and Kerry can enjoy the skatepark half as much as Bruce enjoyed his life then we would be privileged to have it named in his honour. ‘Ox Park’ is a fitting tribute,” said Mr Kelliher.

Speaking at Tuesday’s TMD meeting, Sinn Féin Cllr Cathal Foley said he was delighted the park would be named after Bruce Kelliher.

“Anyone who knew Bruce will always remember him with a skateboard under his feet. I can’t emphasise enough just how much of a great guy he was and if there’s anyone in Tralee that this should be named after it’s him,” said Cllr Foley.

Mayor of Tralee Mikey Sheehy recalled Bruce Kelliher and his Tralee skateboarding friends as “a group of trailblazers”.

The new skatepark is almost complete and is due to open in a few weeks time. It cost over €200,000, was internationally designed and is a collaboration between Kerry County Council, Tralee Sports Complex and the Tralee Skateboard Community Group.


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