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Aidan O'Mahony's All-Ireland final boots fetch €28,000 at London charity auction

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Kerry star Aidan O'Mahony's All-Ireland final boots fetched a remarkable €28,000 at auction for the Home from Home facility in Killarney for children with special needs. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Kerry star Aidan O'Mahony's All-Ireland final boots fetched a remarkable €28,000 at auction for the Home from Home facility in Killarney for children with special needs. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Kerry star Aidan O'Mahony's All-Ireland final boots fetched a remarkable €28,000 at auction for the Home from Home facility in Killarney for children with special needs. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

The boots worn by Kerry's Aidan O'Mahony in the All-Ireland football final raised an astonishing €28,000 (£23,000) for a Killarney-based charity at a function in London over the weekend.

O'Mahony brought the boots himself to the annual dinner of the Kerry Association in the British capital at which he was a guest.

He had given the boots to a young Killarney boy, Diarmuid De Bhillis, who attends the "Home from Home" after-school care facility for children with special needs in the town. Diarmuid was in the company of his aunt, Maire Ni Cheallaigh, as the Kerry players did their lap of honour after beating Donegal.

O'Mahony came over and embraced Diarmuid after seeing him at the front of one of the stands and presented him with the boots. They had never met before. The family later contacted O'Mahony to thank him for the gesture and enquire as to whether they could raffle the boots for the cash-strapped facility.

O'Mahony suggested bringing them over to the London function himself to see what they could generate. The school facility and Diarmuid's family were astounded by the figure made when O'Mahony relayed the news to them over the weekend.

Diarmuid's grandfather Sean Kelly played at full-forward for the Kerry team in the 1953 All-Ireland final success against Armagh.

Meanwhile, the GAA's Central Council are to discuss bringing the dates of the All-Ireland finals back by one week to facilitate the completion of the club championships in the same calendar year at their meeting this weekend.

It is expected that a proposal will be made to have the All-Ireland football quarter-finals and the first All-Ireland hurling semi-final completed by the bank holiday weekend in August.

An earlier conclusion for the All-Ireland finals would close the window of exposure for the championships that little bit more which is a big consideration for the GAA.

Provincial councils may also be asked to make the draws for their club championships as late as possible to facilitate the representatives of counties who last longer in the championships, under new proposals being discussed.

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Elsewhere, Donegal are on course to have a new senior team manager in place by next Monday night's county board meeting.

Rory Gallagher remains the strong favourite for the position having served as assistant to Jim McGuinness for the first three years of his reign.

Gallagher worked with the under 21s earlier this year and was one of four names that were understood to have been nominated by the deadline on Friday of last week. The names of Cathal Corey, Anthony Harkin and Paddy Carr were all submitted.

Interviews were taking place and Donegal chairman Sean Dunnion said the process was still ongoing. But he confirmed that the intention was to have the senior, under 21 and minor managers in place by Monday evening.

In Westmeath, the committee charged with finding a successor to Paul Bealin is still in negotiations with Jack Cooney about the vacant position.

Cooney was in the frame earlier this month before the interview committee recommended Peter Leahy instead.

In an embarrassing twist the executive nomination of Leahy was turned down by 23 votes 19, forcing the committee to open up the process again.

But the former player and selector under Tomas O Flatharta is understood to be the current target.


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