I regret not keeping medals, says Kerry's Mick O’Connell

Kerry legend Mick O’Connell said that his biggest regret in Gaelic football is not keeping his medals to show them to his grandchildren.
I regret not keeping medals, says Kerry's Mick O’Connell

The Valentia Island native is one of the most decorated footballers in the history of the GAA with four All-Ireland titles, twelve Munster SFC crowns, four national league wins and an All-Star, but the 78-year old said he never kept the medals.

But that is his only regret in the GAA.

O’Connell made the revelations in a new book which has been produced by children at a national school in Leitrim to raise funds for their sports facilities.

Children at St Hugh’s National School in Dowra on the Leitrim-Cavan border, where former Leitrim football Padraig Kenny is principal, have produced a publication called ‘The Scrapbook of Regrets’ where they sought a response from 150 GAA personalities around the country.

“While I was often on the losing team, I was also on many winning teams but I never kept medals,” said O’Connell. “I regret not having them now to show to my grandchildren, but I have some newspaper cuttings from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.”

O’Connell said that while he never regretted living on an island while pursuing an inter-county career, it did present challenges and the book discloses how he was once stranded after coming back from an All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park when someone took his boat and he had to spend the night with a fisherman in Reenard before his boat was returned the following day and he was able to row home.

“Living on Valentia Island was not a regret, but definitely a challenge when it came to my football career.”

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