Wednesday 18 September 2019

Micko leads tributes to Kerry broadcasting legend Weeshie

Weeshie Fogarty interviewing one of his favourite players, Maurice Fitzgerald, in Killarney before the 2000 All-Ireland football final. Picture credit; Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Weeshie Fogarty interviewing one of his favourite players, Maurice Fitzgerald, in Killarney before the 2000 All-Ireland football final. Picture credit; Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Weeshie Fogarty was a Kerryman to the core, but when news broke yesterday of his death at the age of 77 it was as if everyone in the GAA had lost a friend.

Known throughout the country for his colourful commentaries and deep passion for Kerry and for the game of football, it can be said without fear of contradiction that he did the GAA world some service.

In fact, Weeshie did it enormous service, as a player, referee, mentor, official, broadcaster and newspaper columnist.

"A great Kerryman, a great football man and a great character," was Kingdom great Mick O'Dwyer's description of a former colleague and friend.

"If you wanted to know anything about Kerry football, Weeshie was the man you went to.

"He knew every detail about it and loved sharing it with people. Kerry football was his life, first as a player and then in so many other areas for the rest of his life.

"He was a remarkable man in so many ways," said O'Dwyer.

There was no area of GAA life that Weeshie didn't touch, all done lovingly for a game and an Association he adored.

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His club Legion Killarney perfectly summed up the reaction to his death, saying: "The word legend is sometimes overused, but Weeshie Fogarty was a club legend and his passing leaves a huge void."

Weeshie played for Kerry at all levels, including senior, where he won an All-Ireland senior medal as a sub in 1969.

He won four Kerry county titles and an All-Ireland club title with East Kerry.

After his career was cut short by injury, he turned his hand to refereeing, where he reached the highest level.

He officiated at three senior All-Ireland senior semi-finals in the early 1980s and was considered very unlucky not have ever been appointed for a final.

If Weeshie was a highly regarded footballer and referee, his real popularity came later during his work with Radio Kerry.

His 'Terrace Talk' programme attracted listeners well beyond the Kingdom, all fascinated by his warm style and his engaging personality.

His work won him National PPI awards as well as MacNamee awards in the GAA's own media awards scheme.

He is survived by wife Joan, daughters Denise and Carolann, son Kieran and extended family.

Reposing at O'Shea's Funeral Home, Cathedral Place, Killarney, 4pm-6.30 pm tomorrow, prior to removal to St Mary's Cathedral. Requiem Mass on Wednesday (10.30am), followed by burial in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

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