Hometown honour proposed for GAA legend

Man at work: Weeshie Fogarty keeping a close eye on GAA affairs at an East Kerry Board annual general meeting way back in 2005

A PROPOSAL to dedicate a roundabout to the late great Weeshie Fogarty in his native town has been brought before Killarney Municipal District Council, can confirm.

And, fittingly, the preferred location is directly adjacent to Fitzgerald Stadium, in the shadow of the O’Sullivan Stand, which was a landmark so familiar to him.

Weeshie’s friends, Edda Walshe, Jimmy Reen and Jerome O’Regan, working in association with his beloved Killarney Legion GAA Club and Radio Kerry, mooted the idea with the council and the best location identified is the small roundabout at Dalton’s Avenue and Marian Terrace which is just outside the main entrance to the stadium Weeshie graced as a player, mentor, referee and broadcaster.

Councillors will finalise the matter at a meeting scheduled to take place on Thursday of this week.

Fitzgerald Stadium was very familiar territory for Weeshie

A number of other roundabouts in Killarney are dedicated to local people who contributed enormously to the town over the years. They include former TD and Minister Michael Moynihan, entrepreneur Michael D (Mackey) O’Shea, Olympian Gillian O’Sullivan and basketball legend and former mayor Paudie O’Connor.

Weeshie Fogarty’s wonderful and distinctive voice was brought to life one final time for mourners at his Requiem Mass in November 2018 when a recording he made about what Kerry meant to him was played in the church.

“The wonderful John B Keane once remarked to me that there were just two Kingdoms – the Kingdom of heaven and the Kingdom of Kerry and, of course, the great man was, as always, spot on,” said Weeshie.

The late great Weeshie Fogarty

“And when I die, hopefully,  I will travel from one Kingdom to another,” he added.

Weeshie, who was 77 when he passed away, grew up listening to and learning from the great Micheál Ó Hehir and that sparked a love for the spoken and written word that stayed with him throughout his days involved in the GAA.

His daughter, Carolann, told the gathering at the funeral Mass that her dad had been described many times as a legend and that he was considered a legend at home as well.

“His two big loves in life were his family and football but in what order we often wondered,” she said.

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