Golf classic in honour of a Killarney legend

The late Paudie O’Connor (left) with his brother Seamie and lifelong friend John Keogh (right) in Las Vegas

FORMER team-mates, club colleagues, friends and fans are expected to turn out in great numbers to pay tribute to the late great basketball legend Paudie O’Connor at a memorial golf classic in his honour in Killarney.

Organised by his brother, Seamus, his great pal John Keogh, his nephew Philip O’Connor and friends John and Sean Brosnan, the big event will take place on the Killeen championship course at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club on Friday, May 10.

Valuable prizes will be up for grabs and the entry fee for teams of four is €400.

The late Paudie O’Connor

The golf classic will coincide with the first anniversary of the untimely and sudden death of Paudie who passed away in Las Vegan last May, at the age of 66. A larger than life personality, he was one of the most instantly recognisable sporting and political personalities Killarney has known.

A legend in Irish basketball circles, 6’4” Paudie enjoyed great success with his hometown St Vincent’s club as well as captaining the Irish basketball team at a time when he was deemed the finest point guard in Europe.

He won several domestic titles and became the only Irish player ever to make the first five of a European All-Star team.

He was a member of Kerry County Council from 1979 to 1985 and was Mayor of Killarney on four occasions as well as contesting a general election for Fine Gael.

The son of Dan and Mai O’Connor from O’Sullivan’s Place, Paudie was part of an outstanding sporting family and his brothers, Seamus, Mike and the late Benny, were all high achievers on the basketball courts and GAA fields with Dr Crokes.

After marrying American native, Marty, with whom he has a daughter, Morgan, Paudie left Ireland in 1986 and spent four years in New York where he was involved in a number of business ventures before moving to Vegas where he carved out a career as a successful golf tours promoter.

Paudie always saw the big picture, he dreamed big, he was hugely influential, he was very much a man with a mission and he was a real winner. He really was a man ahead of his time.

To enter a team in the golf classic contact Seamus O’Connor (087-6619151); John Keogh (087-6866189); Philip O’Connor (087-7458691); John Brosnan (087-9491982) or Sean Brosnan (087-2065133).

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