Friday 23 February 2018

Caught on canvas: moment the Kingdom conquered the Rebels

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

IT WAS one of the most memorable moments of any All-Ireland final and was said to have opened the flood gates on Kerry's victory over Cork in 2007.

And now a painting that captures that moment will be given on long-term loan to the people of Kerry.

'The Opening of the Floodgates' by Paul Downey captures the moment when Colm 'Gooch' Cooper, high in the air, back-hands the ball past mesmerised Cork defenders into their goal.

The Kerry side went on to add a further two goals and 13 points to their tally that day in September 2007, securing the All-Ireland title against their old foe.

Though out of action for this year's championship due to injury, the famous right corner forward – considered to be one of the best exponents of the game – will be on hand when the painting goes on display at his local library on Tuesday.

It has been held up to now in the private collection of Jim O'Sullivan. The huge canvas that measures in at 120cm x 102cm will go on display at various Kerry libraries over the next three years before it finds a temporary home in the restored Killarney House when the €10m refurbishment is completed. Eventually, it will go on permanent display at the planned GAA museum in Tralee.

Its owner Mr O'Sullivan is keen it should be seen by as many people as possible.

"I thought this was an iconic painting that should be kept in the public arena. Anyway how could you possibly show a picture like that in a private house?"

Kerry county librarian, Tommy O'Connor said: "We are honoured to tour this very important picture throughout Kerry and we are very grateful to Jim O'Sullivan for making it possible."

Irish Independent

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