Widespread shock greets death of P.J.
The sudden death at the age of 68 on Monday, June 30, of Cahirsiveen undertaker P.J. Fitzpatrick from New St. sent shockwaves through the barony of Iveragh where he was very well liked and respected.
P.J. had an unassuming nature that disguised the fact that he was a talented footballer who played at various inter-county levels.
He was on the Cahirsiveen CBS O'Sullivan Cup team which won that trophy for the first time in 1963 versus St. Brendan's Killarney and also played on the South Kerry minor Co. championship winning team at full forward versus Kerins O'Rahillys of Tralee of that year in which Mike Brennan of St. Marys was captain.
He was then captain of the Kerry minor team of 1964 that was defeated by Clare in the Munster championship.
He scored a remarkable three goals and a point in the Munster under 21 final v. Cork in 1966 also missing a penalty, but Kerry were defeated by Roscommon in the All-Ireland semi-final. He also played against Cork in the Munster senior football final of 1966.
P.J. subsequently emigrated to London to work as a carpenter and played there with the Parnells club and also with London in the All-Ireland junior finals of 1968 and 69 versus Tyrone and Wicklow respectively, being victorious against Wicklow in 1969. He also spent some time in Germany and Holland, returning to New St. in Cahirsiveen in 1982 to reside with and care for his parents as well as to take charge of his father, Mick's, undertaking business, which he ran together with his wife, Annette.
Among P.J.'s neighbours in the West end of Cahirsiveen were such accomplished Kerry footballers as Jack O'Shea, Ned Fitzgerald, Maurice Fitzgerald and Bryan Sheehan with the Con Keating Park but a stone's throw away. He was always a familiar figure on the door of his premises in New St. with time always for a chat with passers-by.
His passing came too soon, leaving a big void in the western end of that town of Barr Na Sráide.
A guard of honour was accorded to him by the St. Marys GAA club as well as members of the undertaking business. Sincere sympathy to his wife Annette, sister Mary and all concerned.
Solás siorrai da anam uasal.