Kerry mourns hero Jerome O’Shea

Kerry GAA is today mourning the loss of three-time All-Ireland winner Jerome O’Shea, who passed away at the age of 87 yesterday.

An athletic corner-back, St Mary’s and South Kerry player O’Shea was an All-Ireland winner in 1953, 1955, and 1959, also captaining the Kingdom in the mid-50s.

After football the Cahirciveen man had a long career in the service of the state, and was influential in Ireland’s quest for EEC membership and served in UN roles.

He was also a pioneer of GAA broadcasting, presenting RTÉ’s first weekly GAA TV show ‘GAA World of Sport’.

O’Shea is survived by wife Margaret and sons Diarmuid, Donal, and Conor. Conor was an Ireland rugby international and is the current Italy rugby coach.

Jerome’s funeral takes place tomorrow at 1.10pm in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook.

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Outgoing Kerry County Board treasurer Dermot Lynch has revealed an innovative plan to help secure the Kingdom’s long-term financial future.

One of Lynch’s final acts as treasurer was to assign €100,000 from the county’s finances into a new capital sinking fund.

With the board currently servicing a €3.2m loan, €2.3m of which is tied to the centre of excellence at Currans, Lynch is adamant the executive does not engage in further borrowing to fund either redevelopment work at Fitzgerald Stadium or cover maintenance costs associated with the centre of excellence.

“The continued upkeep and running of the Currans centre of excellence will always present its demands, along with the development in IT Tralee (a partnership between the college and county board) which is nearing completion,” Lynch wrote in his treasurer’s report which will be presented to the Kerry convention on Monday night.

“New planning permission has been received during the year for the scoreboard end at Fitzgerald Stadium and works will also need to be undertaken on the wall at the St Finan’s side of the ground.

“All of these projects will require money away from the day-to-day running of the board. As a result, we have set up a capital sinking fund and have put away €100k, out of this year’s finances, to start off with. Hopefully, this policy can be repeated in the years ahead so when capital investment will be required by the board in the future, the funds will be there to meet it and will not require additional borrowing.”

Board coffers will not be affected by the continued upgrading of Tralee’s Austin Stack Park, with work on the Mitchels End, where a roof will be placed over the existing terrace, set to begin early in the new year. It is hoped the new covered terrace will be ready in time for the league visit of Mayo on March 16.

There are also plans to remove the grass embankment at the Horan’s End, replacing it with a concrete terrace.

Team expenses for 2018 totalled €1,031,700, marginally up on the 2017 figure of €1,030,443.

A key factor here was the decision taken by the board and then senior manager, Éamonn Fitzmaurice, to establish a second training panel so as to expose young players, predominantly those who were involved in the various All-Ireland minor-winning campaigns, to a senior inter-county set-up. Lynch’s preference is for panel sizes to be capped at 32 players.

He continued: “The increase in panel sizes is what is driving up the costs. Because of the amount of young players coming on the scene, a decision was taken this year to have a second [senior] training panel which probably brought our numbers up to 47 but, hopefully, Peter Keane will reap the reward of that because a lot of the younger players will be coming into him conditioned and ready.”

Nearly €665,000 was raised through fundraising initiatives.

Total income for the year came to €3,510,504, with expenditure reaching €3,399,045, leaving an operating profit of €111,459.


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