Hundreds attend Páidí Ó Sé wake in Kerry
Hundreds attended the wake yesterday of former Kerry footballer Páidí Ó Sé in his home near Ventry, following his sudden death at age 57 on Saturday. Páidí had got the “Cuireadh na Nollag” – the Christmas invitation – said Irish speakers there, using an ancient phrase that refers to a person’s death at Christmas. It is believed that someone who dies at this time of year is especially blessed.
Páidí had got the cuireadh na Nollag, “only he was too young”, one local woman said.
Traffic arrangements will be in place in Ventry today where the funeral Mass will be held at noon in the stone church of St Catherine opposite Páidí Ó Sé’s public house .
There was no masking the sadness at the wake, and the grey day mirrored the general sorrow felt throughout Kerry yesterday.
Footballers past and present – some former rivals – and hundreds of locals made their way to file past the coffin.
His eight All-Ireland medals lay on his Kerry jersey, gracing his open casket. Among those paying respects to his wife Máire, his children Neasa, Siún and Pádraig Óg, and his nephews Daragh, Marc and Tomás were former Kerry football colleague the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, Páidí’s former manager Mick O’Dwyer, recent manager Jack O’Connor, players Mikey Sheehy and Paudie Lynch, Ogie Moran and Eoin “the Bomber Liston”.
Far from the heat of a summer Munster final, the Cork football world was well represented with Cork football manager Conor Counihan alongside Billy Morgan and Larry Tomkins.
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody was present. Former tánaiste Dick Spring also paid his respects, as did former minister for justice Gerry Collins.
Páidí’s old friend, broadcaster and near-neighbour Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, said: “One of his greatest virtues was loyalty, and he was loyal to his culture, to his football and to his locality.
“He was always out promoting the Dingle peninsula as best he could and he was a big attraction in his own right. Everything he did in life, he gave it 100 per cent.”
Earlier, Eimear Mulhern recalled Páidí’s friendship with her later father, Charles Haughey. A great friendship between the Haugheys and the Ó Sés began in the 1970s, she said. Páidí admired her father’s political skill and her late father revelled in Páidí’s footballing prowess. “It was based on mutual respect more than anything else. Páidí was a big part of all our lives,” Ms Mulhern told Radio Kerry yesterday.