Thursday 14 December 2017

Páidí's legendary tournament stronger than ever

Enda Kenny, Siun and Pádraig Ó Sé pictured at last week's launch of the Phone Watch Comórtas Peile Páidi Ó Sé 2014
Enda Kenny, Siun and Pádraig Ó Sé pictured at last week's launch of the Phone Watch Comórtas Peile Páidi Ó Sé 2014

Over a year has passed since the sad loss of Páidí ó Sé but his family have carried on the tradition of his legendary football event, Comórtas Peile Páidí ó Sé, which next weekend celebrates its 25th anniversary.

This year over 1,300 players from Ireland, Europe and the USA will compete in the tournament, which is sponsored by Phonewatch. And to mark the anniversary of the competition, the four original senior men's club teams from the first tournament back in 1989 will once again compete. These are West Kerry's An Gaeltacht and Dingle clubs, Cork's Ballincollig and Galway's An Cheathrú Rua.

"The Comórtas has grown beyond our dad's wildest dreams," said Padraig óg ó Sé, son of Páidí, last week.

"We are delighted it continues to attract clubs from all over the world. It sends a positive message to young people about the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle.

"This event, along with Fundúireacht Páidí Ó Sé, a charitable foundation that we set up after his passing to help provide cardiac-related services in Kerry and nationally, are positive legacies he would have been proud of. We are also flattered that a local committee has been set up to perpetuate his memory in the form of a monument for his contribution to Irish life."

The football festival has attracted almost 10,000 club players over its 25-year history and has grown into a major international GAA event with senior, intermediate and junior clubs travelling this year from over 10 counties as well as Boston, London, Manchester and Brussels.

And once again the Laoch na hImeartha, the player of the tournament, will honour Páidí's great friend, former Sunday Independent editor Aengus Fanning. With over 40 men's and women's teams competing the award will be given to the best player in both the men's and women's competitions.

The Comórtas will be played in venues around the Dingle peninsula next weekend.

The annual photography exhibition will this year feature the work of Inpho Photography, which is also celebrating 25 years in business. The exhibit, 'Irish Sports Stars Through The Years' by Billy Stickland and his team, will be launched by another great friend of Páidí's, Mick O'Dwyer.

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