Weeshie typified the best of Kerry and its people’s tremendous wit

We sadly never got to ask him which it was, but in the countless number of interviews he conducted, Weeshie Fogarty had either a tick or a tactic of asking in that endearing, warm Kerry drawl: “What does it mean to….?” or “tell me, how did it feel to…?”

It could have been anything from bringing a long-awaited divisional or county junior title back to a small parish, or being the grand-nephew of a deceased All-Ireland winning captain, or representing Ireland in an upcoming European championships in anything from taekwondo to rowing or basketball, Weeshie Fogarty was curious to know what it meant to you and how did it feel.

Invariably, in answering, the subject would name-check: “Ah, Weeshie, it means everything.” This was a measure in itself of the respect and affection he was held in, but if Weeshie Fogarty’s family ever wondered just what he meant to the people of Kerry and beyond, they’ve got their answer in recent days.

Today, we will descend in our droves on Killarney to praise Weeshie and only praise him, as he makes his final journey. While it’s the norm not to speak ill of the dead, Fogarty was that rare person undeserved of a single bad word when he was alive.

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