The town he loved to remember a true great

The roundabout at the Lewis Road-St Anne’s Road junction

KILLARNEY is planning to honour the memory of one of its most famous sons, can confirm.

A proposal has been made to dedicate a busy roundabout to the late great Paudie O’Connor, a former top class international basketball player who was also Mayor of Killarney on four occasions.

The Municipal District Council is putting a plan in place and, it is understood, the preferred location is the busy roundabout linking Lewis Road with St Anne’s Road which is close to the former O’Connor home where Paudie grew up in O’Sullivan’s Place.

The proposal was made by Mayor John Sheahan who, like Paudie before him, is a Fine Gael member on Kerry County Council.

Paudie passed away last May in the US where he had lived since 1986 and where he was a high-profile golf tour promoter. He was 66 years of age at the time of his untimely passing.

The late Paudie O’Connor

A former Presentation Monastery and St Brendan’s College pupil, Paudie was a member of Killarney Urban District Council from 1974 to 1985, serving as a popular and charismatic chairman on four occasions, in 1978, 1980, 1982 and 1984. He was a member of Kerry County Council from 1979 to 1985.

A legend in Irish basketball circles, 6’4” Paudie was a star player and he 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.

From 1979 he was personally responsible for elevating the game of basketball in Ireland to dizzy heights when he arranged for top American college players to line out with Killarney and, subsequently, with clubs throughout this country.

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