Tributes paid to football legend O'Sé

Tributes paid to football legend O'Sé

Páidi Ó Sé, the former Kerry and all-Ireland footballer who died today, has been described as a true legend.

The 57-year-old father of three was found dead at his home in Ventry this morning. It is believed he may have suffered a heart attack.

He was one of Kerry's most successful players and was one of the few footballers to win eight all-Ireland Senior Championship medals.

President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to the sports star.

Mr Higgins said: "Páidi Ó Sé had a reputation that went far beyond his great achievements in sport and far beyond the boundaries of his own beloved country,

"It was a great contribution and I send my sympathies to him and his family and all those related to him."

Kerry County chairman Patrick O'Sullivan said everyone in the area was heartbroken by the loss.

Sports Minister Michael Ring described it as a sad day for Ireland, the GAA, for Kerry and for Irish culture.

The Minister said: "Paidi O Se was a legend in so many ways. As a footballer, as a manager, and as an exponent of Irish language and culture, Paidi had few rivals. "

Mr Ó Sé also served as a senior football manager with Kerry, Clare and Westmeath.

He leaves behind his wife Maire and three children Neasa, Siun and Padraig Og.

Heritage and Gaeltacht Minister Jimmy Deenihan said he had been shocked by the news.

"Páidi and I were colleagues on the football field for over 10 years, but were friends for much longer," he said.

"Paidi will be remembered not only as one of the greatest footballers of his time and also as a very successful manager guiding Kerry to two All-Ireland victories. His talent, commitment and energy were legendary."

Former Mayo, Galway and Leitrim manager John O'Mahony said he would be sorely missed.

Mr O'Mahony said: "Páidí was a great servant of the GAA, as a player and a manager, and he was the life and soul of the party wherever he went. His contribution to the GAA for Kerry and nationally was immense."

Fine Gael Kerry TD Brendan Griffin said he had been saddened at the untimely passing of the former footballer.

He said: "Páidí really was a true legend of the game and he was someone of great charisma, both on and off the field.

"Like so many more of my generation, Páidí was a childhood hero. The Dingle peninsula, the county of Kerry and the country is in mourning. My sympathy is with those Páidí leaves behind, especially his wife and children. He will be sorely missed."

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: “He will be sadly missed by all those involved with Gaelic games, by the people of Kerry and by his many friends.

“I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy to his family at this sad time.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has offered his condolences to the family, saying: "This is a huge loss for Páidí's family and friends in Kerry, Clare and across the country. He was a giant of the GAA and a gentleman to know.

"When it came to football Páidí had an extraordinary talent. I personally have great memories of stirring Cork - Kerry clashes through the years. He was an iconic figure and he personified that spirit of competitive rivalry that is the hallmark of the GAA.

"Páidí was also a very warm hearted person and he made enduring friendships in sport, politics and business.

"I want to offer my deepest condolences to Páidí's wife Maire, and their three children, Neasa, Siún and Padraig Og at this very sad and difficult time for them."

"He was a proud Corca Dhuibhne man.

"Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann."

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