Cora dazzles as Páidí smiles down on booming Comórtas Peile
A windy but dry Dingle Peninsula welcomed throngs of Gaelic players and supporters from the USA, Europe and across Ireland to celebrate the sporting life of a GAA legend at the 25th PhoneWatch Comórtas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2014 last weekend.
The football festival, which has welcomed over 10,000 players since Páidí set it up back in 1989, continues to attract top-class clubs from Ireland. And the eight international sides were not just there to take in the views as Belgium Ladies GAA marched to victory in the junior cup and Boston's Shannon Blues won the intermediate cup, captained by Massachusetts native Pat Murray.
All-Ireland club champions Carnacon made it three in a row at the Comórtas by beating Foxrock-Cabinteely in the senior ladies final by 7-16 to 3-6. Multiple Mayo All Star and All-Ireland medal winner Cora Staunton proved once again why she is one of the most outstanding players of her generation as she amassed a huge personal tally of 5-12 in the final, also taking home the Aengus Fanning/Sunday Independent Player of the Tournament award.
The football festival, which is sustained annually by commercial and governing authority partners such as Opel, Lee Strand Milk, Newstalk and Kerry County Council, is reportedly worth just over €500,000 to the local economy over three days.
Páidí's son Pádraig Óg, pictured with Cora Staunton, commented: "My Dad was hugely proud of where he came from and always saw the tourist value of the Comórtas in attracting overseas and domestic participants as he knew most would return once they got a taste of it. The Corca Dhuibhne area and the Comórtas event is now being promoted as a key stop-off on Fáilte Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way tourist route, which will introduce West Kerry, Gaelic games and the story of Páidí Ó Sé to a wider international audience, which I have no doubt my dad would smile about."
Other winners over the weekend were Cork's Ballincollig GFC in the Dermot Earley senior men's cup, Tralee side Na Gaeil in the junior men's competition and West Kerry's Corca Dhuibhne Ladies in the intermediate ladies cup. The Aengus Fanning/Sunday Independent Male Player of the Tournament award went to Boston Shannon Blues defender Denis McElligott.
Sunday Indo Sport