Hurl­ing leg­ends vis­itPat

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By SINEAD KELLE­HER

NOT many hurl­ing fans can say they have held the na­tion’s three most im­por­tant hurl­ing cups at one time but for avid Kerry hurl­ing fan, Pat Fitz­patrick, this dream be­came a re­al­ity re­cently – and in the com­fort of his own South Kerry home!

The Ballinskel­ligs man got a ma­jor sur­prise when his friends or­gan­ised for the 87-year old to hold the Liam McCarthy cup, the Ir­ish Press Cup and the Al­lianz Hurl­ing League Tro­phy.

Pat’s friend, Tom Con­nell, also from Ballinskel­ligs, helped or­gan­ise the sur­prise guests to Pat’s house through a friend of his, Vin­cent Mullins, in Ar­dra­han hurl­ing club in Gal­way.

Vin­cent ar­rived laden with the sil­ver­ware to Pat’s house on a very spe­cial visit that the en­tire parish, not just Pat, is un­likely to for­get for a very long time.

“Pat is an avid hurl­ing fan and he was ab­so­lutely thrilled to bits to have the cups in his house,” says his daugh­ter, Ann O’Leary.

“They had a great chat about hurl­ing. It was a proud mo­ment.”

Though it may be un­usual for a Ker­ry­man to be such a hurl­ing fan given the county’s roots in foot­ball, for Pat hurl­ing is ‘ the great­est game ever played’.

Pat and his late wife, Kather­ine, would reg­u­larly travel to hurl­ing fi­nals, so a visit from all three hurl­ing cups to his home was a high­light.

Back in the day he can even re­call his friend, Bernie Con­nell - pos­si­bly an even big­ger fan – cy­cling from Valen­tia to Thurles for hurl­ing games.

Though hurl­ing is Pat’s first love, he has never for­got­ten his foot­ball roots ei­ther and was a reg­u­lar at all games.

“He was a GAA man all his life. Hurl­ing was his pas­sion but foot­ball too. I think part of him prefers hurl­ing to foot­ball though!” Ann said.

Pat Fitz­patrick at home with the the Al­lianz Hurl­ing League tro­phy, Liam McCarthy Cup, and the Ir­ish Press Cup.

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