The funeral has taken place in Moyvane, Co Kerry, of the former inter-county footballer Patrick (Paddy) Curtin who died on December 29, following a car crash shortly before Christmas while working in Guatemala.
The electrician, aged 26, was an employee of Liebherr Ireland crane factory in Killarney and frequently worked abroad with the company.
The Church of the Assumption overflowed with an attendance of more than 1,000 people and the north Kerry village was decked in green and gold flags, which are the colours of Moyvane as well as the county team.
The 2015 inter-firm football cup won by Liebherr and the North Kerry League Cup won by Moyvane, in both of which teams Patrick had played a key role, were on display.
He had played at all levels — minor, junior, U21, and senior, and made six championship and 10 league appearances for Kerry.
Seven priests concelebrated his funeral Mass.
Symbols of Patrick’s life brought to the altar before Mass by football and work colleagues included his much-loved number 14 club jersey; his Kerry league football medal won against Asdee in September and which had yet to be presented to him; a globe symbolising Liebherr Ireland’s involvement across the world; a yellow crane, again a symbol of the work he loved; a family photo, and his mobile phone.
“Not only did he work in Brazil, Poland, Germany, the UK and elsewhere, he engaged with people; he enriched them with recognition and generosity,” said chief celebrant Canon Kevin McNamara.
Seán Walsh, former Kerry GAA chairman and Munster Council chairman, and a fellow clubman said: “His football colleagues idolised Paddy. In every club, in every parish, we look out for the one.
“From a very young age it was obvious to everyone in north Kerry that Paddy Curtin was something exceptional.”
He assured the family — parents John and Eileen, sisters Linda and Evelyn and brother-in-law Adrian that they were part of “the GAA family”.
Football was only part of the picture. Paddy had been “a tough, likeable, loveable rogue” who always lived life to the full, said Mr Walsh.
A Brazilian friend read a prayer in Portuguese. The nursing staff of Fort Lauderdale in Florida where he had been airlifted from Guatemala were remembered in prayers.
Kerry football manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice and former Kerry footballers including Minister Jimmy Deenihan were among the attendance.
Patrick was buried in Ahavoher Cemetery.
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