Glenealy pay respects to late club legend Paul Kelly
THE hurling community of Glenealy was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Paul Kelly, Townsville, St. Mary’s Rd, Arklow recently.
Paul, formerly of Chapel Lane, Glenealy, was one of Glenealy’s hurling heroes. Born into a farming family only yards from the local hurling field, it wasn’t long before Paul picked up a hurl and soon came to the notice of the hurling selectors.
In 1950 he won his first medal when Glenealy won the Minor championship. This was followed by further Minor wins in 1951 and 1952, to complete a three-in-a-row.
In 1950 Paul was on the Junior team defeated by Avoca in the final, but he was back again in 1951 when Glenealy swept all opponents aside to win the Junior championship and earn the right to compete at Senior level.
In 1953 Paul on the Senior team defeated by a strong Avoca side in the county final.
Paul’s biggest day came in 1957 when he stepped out in the number three jersey against the favourites Avondale in the Senior county final. Glenealy won their first Senior title that day and Paul gave an exhibition of defending that propelled Glenealy to a victory that is still talked about and earned him the title ‘The man of steel’.
Unfortunately, Paul, like a lot of young hurlers from the village, had to emigrate to find work, and his short but successful hurling career was over in his early 20s.
Paul spent over 30 years away from home, got married and raised a family. When he returned to Ireland he settled in Arklow and started a garage business, but he never forgot his Glenealy roots and was a great supporter of Glenealy hurling teams. He also served on various committees and could always be seen at any function the club held.
Paul passed away last May after fighting the good fight against serious illness, sadly Paul didn’t live long enough to see his grandson Cal play a pivotal role for AGB in getting to the Senior football final this year, but no man would have been prouder than him.
To Paul’s wife Jackie, daughter Fiona, sons Simon, Sean and Liam, sister June, son in law, daughters in law, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and the extended family and friends we extend our deepest sympathy. RIP.
The Carnew Emmets under-16 footballers after their narrow victory over a gallant Bray Emmets side.