Bronze statue unveiled in memory of Kerry great Páidí Ó Sé

Over 400 people attend unveiling near the family pub in Ventry, west Kerry

A bronze statue, larger than life size, of the late Páidí Ó Sé has been unveiled alongside his pub at his home place of Ard a Bhóthar near Ventry in the west Kerry Gaeltacht.

Around 400 people attended the ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

The statue depicts a determined Ó Sé bursting up through the field the ball clutched in one hand and the Number 5 jersey on his muscled back. Saturday would have been his 60th birthday.

Former Kerry Manager Mick O’Dwyer performed the unveiling and the master of ceremonies for the day was the broadcaster Micheál O Muircheartaigh.


Created by West Clare Sculptor Seamus Connolly, the statue is mounted on Valentia Island Slate – the slate used to roof the houses of Parliament in London.

A number of Ó Sé ’s former Kerry teammates with whom he won eight All-Ireland senior football medals attended.

His sudden death in December 2012 at the age of 57 caused widespread shock and his funeral attracted politicians, media as well as sports and tourism figures.

A fundraising drive including a concert raised around €70,000 for the project over the past 18 months. The large organising committee included the former footballer and rugby player Mick Galwey, as well as former team mate Pat Spillane.

Committee member Seán Ó Catháin said: “People often say ‘where were you when you heard JFK was shot’, that’s what it was like for us when we heard Páidí had gone from us.”

Páidí is buried in Relig Naomh Chaitlíona nearby and his grave is visited by sports people and fans with team colours, hats and scarves regularly placed on the grave.

He is survived by his wife Maire, children Neasa, Siun and Padraig . His nephews include the three footballers Darragh, Tomás and Marc. He is survived also by his brother Tom.