GAA great could have been a rally legend

Mick O’Dywer: admits to having been a speed merchant

MICK O’Dwyer could have been right up there alongside motorsport legends Billy Coleman, Bertie Fisher and Russel Brookes in the famous Killarney rally hall of fame were it not for the lure of the green and gold jersey.

The great GAA man has revealed that motorsport is his other great passion in life and it had been his “highest notion” to compete against the best on famous stages like Moll’s Gap and Balleaghbeama.

But just as he was fine-tuning his engine to hit the road the call came through that he had been selected to play for Kerry – and the rest is sporting history.

“I mentioned it to my father and he said ‘Mick, you can always go rallying but you might only get one chance to play for Kerry’,” the greatest manager in the history of the GAA divulged in a brilliant hour-long RTÉ documentary on his life and times last night.

“I could quite easily have gone into rallying instead of playing football,” he acknowledged.

While he has always loved football, Mick revealed that he has been addicted to driving, it was always his ambition to get into the motor trade and he became a trainee mechanic upon leaving school.

“To be able to get to drive a car was a big thing,” he said

When a garage owner in Waterville wanted to get out of the trade, Mick bought the business for £1,300 and he enjoyed a very successful career.

The first car he bought was a sleek vintage Chevrolet and he revealed that he once “got her up to 180mph” when driving to Dublin for a match.

“I was a bit of a speed merchant,” he admitted. Your professional local news service. Call 064-6631281 or email