Peadaí Neoiní’s colourful views of life

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

EVEN in a part of the world as rich in cul­ture and sport as Corca Dhuib­hne, rarely has West Kerry seen a char­ac­ter as multi-tal­ented as the late Pádraig ‘Peaidí Neoiní’ Ó Cathal­láin.

Now, thanks to col­lect­ing and edit­ing by Lios Póil’s Roibeard Ó Catha­saigh, Pádraig’s thoughts on a life steeped in mu­sic, drama, lan­guage, and sport have been com­mit­ted to the pages and the two CDs ac­com­pa­ny­ing ‘Ná Treascródh Duine Éicint an Bloc Sin’.

The Ir­ish-lan­guage book and CDs from the Mary Im­mac­u­late Col­lege lec­turer is beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated by Dómh­nal Ó Bric and pro­vides an au­ral, writ­ten, and vis­ual ac­count of Pádraig’s thoughts on mat­ters such as his home life in Paróiste na Cille, mu­sic, drama and the Ir­ish lan­guage. The col­lec­tion also in­cludes po­ems, songs, hand­writ­ing and sto­ries col­lected from his fa­ther, Seán, for Scoil Smeirb­hic.

Pádraig hailed from a “tigh mór both­án­taíochta”, was heav­ily in­volved in act­ing; taught in pri­mary schools all over Ire­land, in­clud­ing his first post in Low Is­land; and played foot­ball both for and against Roibeard’s fa­ther, Kerry star Billy Casey.

Among those games was an in­fa­mous West Kerry foot­ball fi­nal against Lios Póil, in which An Ghaeltacht protested against the el­i­gi­bil­ity of All-Ire­land-win­ner Ger­ald Tea­hon. Tea­hon was from Castle­maine, which would nor­mally have ruled him of the Lios Póil catch­ment area. How­ever, he had cat­tle graz­ing in Gabh­lán, Lios Póil and, on this ba­sis, Lios Póil claimed he was el­i­gi­ble to play. Af­ter­wards, West Kerry GAA Chair­man Fr Beasley re­fused to go ahead with the pre­sen­ta­tion, say­ing Tea­hon was in­el­i­gi­ble.

Pádraig, who was born in 1925, passed away last year, but Roibeard struck up a friend­ship with him in the 1980s, and be­tween 2012 and 2015 he cap­tured the essence of the man in a se­ries of record­ings made in Ca­her­davin, Lim­er­ick,

“Chuireas aithne ar Phádraig i mbun­scoil sna ’80idí agus é ina phríomhoide ar Scoil na mBuachaillí, Cathair Dhaib­hín, agus mise i mo fhéithóir ar áb­hair múin­teoirí bun­scoile ó Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál,” a dúirt Roibeard leis An Ker­ry­man. “Chuaigh pearsan­tacht thíriúil nádúrtha Phádraig i bh­fei­dhm ón gcéad lá.

“Tar éis do Phádraig dul amach ar phin­sean i 1985, ba bheag caidreamh a bhí ead­rainn go dtí gur chuas ar a thuairisc san os­pidéal thart ar 2010.

“Ó shin i leith is mó bab­hta both­án­taíochta ead­rainn agus d’fhás ár gcaidreamh. Ba léir dom gur cumarsáidí agus smaoin­teoir é Pádraig. Agus each­traithe suim­iúla óna shaol agus tu­airiscí suain­teasacha á roinnt aige liom, rith sé liom gurbh fhiú buanú a dhéanamh ar a chuid ráiteachais.”

The book is avail­able in An Caifé Liteartha and Siopa Oideachais, Din­gle. It costs €20 and, Roibeard prom­ises that it’s per­fect for any­body who wants to im­merse them­selves in Bli­ain na Gaeilge.

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