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“Thanks for the memories, Weeshie”

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We are truly indebted to the late, great Weeshie Fogarty, says Killarney Advertiser Sport columnist Eamonn Fitzgerald

Weeshie at his beloved Fitzgerald Stadium in 2015 with the GAA McNamee Award and PPI Radio Gold Award. Pic: Eamonn Keogh.5

I am going to miss him; I miss him already for his infectious interest in sport.

Although we associate him with the GAA, his interest in all sports may not be evident to some of our readers. In his younger days he was very interested in basketball and he played with The Busby Babes in the Parish Hall a mere stone’s throw from his home in O’Sullivan’s Place.

They didn’t have any jerseys but that didn’t prove an obstacle for Weeshie. He wrote to Matt Busby explaining their predicament and the lack of sponsorship at that time. Not even the great Busby could refuse the Killarney man and it didn’t take long before a new set of jerseys were winging their way to Killarney. It was a long shot and a brave shot by Weeshie but his persistence paid off.

He was a lifelong follower of Manchester United and he had many friendly arguments with his son Kieran who supports Spurs.

His main interest in sport was the GAA in all its aspects, particulary Gaelic football. He was a loyal player and valued team member of the Legion, holding down almost every officer’s role in the club. How often did you hear him break in to an interview with the heart-filled comment, “that’s my own club, the Legion”? Yes, indeed, “my good friend” was another great phrase of his.

He won an O’Donoghue cup medal with Legion in 1967.

He had the distinction of playing with Kerry in all grades: minor, U-21 and junior, winning an All-Ireland medal in this grade in 1967. He also played senior as an understudy to Johnny Culloty, his near neighbour and fellow clubman. He won an All-Ireland Vocational final with the Kerry Techs on the same team as his fellow Legionnaire, the great and classy Sylvie O’Grady. He won three Kerry SFCs in a row with East Kerry and was the sub ‘keeper in the All-Ireland Club final which East Kerry won in its inaugural year (1971). Yours truly manned the posts for that historic win.

Referee

Having played so much football himself served him well in another facet of his life in the GAA. He was a top class referee and I was always very pleased to play in the games refereed by Weeshie. Not alone was he well versed in the rule book but this was also complemented by common sense.

He knew the different moods players brought to the game and made due allowance for weather conditions. He didn’t have to use disciplinary cards; he depended on common sense and respect players had for him. Mind you he was no softie and could deal with the dirty player with authority and with discretion. His motto was not to throw the rule book at the offending player when a page would suffice.

I often said to him that it was a joy to play in the games he refereed because you could be sure the game would flow. He was in charge for three All-Ireland football semi-finals, but never got to take charge of a final. That was a mistake by the GAA authorities.

Collector general

Weeshie was a great collector of items of written reports of matches and match programmes. These stories, he deemed, were collectors items, which was another great phrase of his. When he finished his playing days with his club, he put his heart and soul into collecting the history of the Legion, culminating in the publication of the McNamee Award-winning ‘A Legion of Memories’, which outlined the first 50 years of the Legion club.

He won four McNamee Awards and in 2008 and in 2010 he won the National PPI Radio Award as National Sports Broadcaster of the year. That was a great honour and more kudos were to follow with his three publications: Off Mike/On Camera, Dr Eamonn O’Sullivan: A Man Before His Time and My Beautiful Obsession: Chasing the Kerry Dream.

Terrace Talk

Weeshie will be remembered with affection for what he did with Terrace Talk. He was there from the very start and created a special niche in broadcasting, originally in the company of his co-founder Liam Higgins. He travelled all over Kerry and throughout the whole country with that roving microphone in search of the inside story behind the mere statistic.

Like Mícheál O’Hehir and Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, he had a story to tell and he embellished many a match with his infectious passion for the games he was broadcasting. Listening to Terrace Talk from 6 to 8 every Monday night is a must for all lovers of sport and that reached a worldwide audience via the internet.

In Conversation

I really enjoyed his Wednesday night programme In Conversation where he interviewed the plain people of Ireland and switched on that microphone, letting the interviewee tell his/her own life story without interruption. Those were extra special. What he has done for future students of social history is incalculable. He brought to life the worlds of the plain people of Ireland.

Born in Cork, his family moved to Killarney when he was three months old, and Killarney was his home for 77 years. He was a psychiatric nurse in St Finan’s until his retirement in 1996. Then he started a new life of broadcasting for which we are truly indebted. He blew the whistle in his last match on Sunday last for the good Lord called for the ball. No injury time, no time added on. Bhí an t-am istigh agus fáilte mór roimh Weeshie ar Neamh.

Ard fhear ab ea Weeshie. Scribhneoir agus craoltóir den scoth. Fear ann féin leis na focail binn blasta. Slán abhaile Weeshie go dtí Achadh Dhá Eo is go gcuitítear do shaothar leat. Brón ar an mbás sé a dhubh ár gcroí-se.

Thanks for the memories. I am missing you already but the greatest loss of all is for his devoted wife, Joan, and Kieran, Carolann and Denise.

 

 

 

 

 

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More than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country without power

Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country. The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will […]

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Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country.

The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will continue to work late into the evening to restore power to those affected, where safe to do so, but unfortunately, some customers will remain without electricity overnight.

Since early morning and despite challenging conditions, ESB Networks have continued to restore power to customers across the country.
With the storm still crossing the country, more damage and interruptions to supply can be expected. ESB Networks reminds the public that if you come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network, never, ever touch or approach these as they may be LIVE and extremely dangerous.

All internal resources and contractors remain on alert and are responding to electricity outages once it is safe to do so. With a Red weather warning in the Southwest in effect until 9 pm tonight, and Co Clare until 1 am on Wednesday morning, some of our crews may not be mobilised on the ground until the worst of the severe weather passes.

We are advising all those impacted by outages that they should prepare to be without electricity overnight and into tomorrow, with some customers potentially without power beyond that. It is very important that any customers who use electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional to make alternative arrangements if necessary.

In addition to safety procedures associated with power restoration, crews continue to work under all national Covid-19 protocols with respect to hygiene, social distancing and PPE.

Customers without power can check for updates on when their fault is expected to be repaired at www.powercheck.ie

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“Avoid the Ballycasheen area of Killarney” Kerry County Council

County Kerry is now bearing the full brunt of Storm Barra and the Kerry Severe Weather Coordination Team reminds everyone that a Status RED weather warning, the highest such warning, remains in place for Kerry until 9pm. Kerry County Council is advising people to avoid the Ballycasheen area of Killarney Due to the significant risk […]

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County Kerry is now bearing the full brunt of Storm Barra and the Kerry Severe Weather Coordination Team reminds everyone that a Status RED weather warning, the highest such warning, remains in place for Kerry until 9pm.

Kerry County Council is advising people to avoid the Ballycasheen area of Killarney

Due to the significant risk to life and property, members of the public should remain indoors and not travel for the rest of the evening. Everyone is advised to follow updates on weather warnings from Met Éireann as well as the local media and social media.

There are an increasing number of roads closed or blocked because of fallen trees, electricity poles and spot flooding. Council crews will respond to issues when it is safe to do so and with the assistance of other agencies where required.

The N71 road at the Suspension Bridge in Kenmare remains closed to traffic as does the N70 Tralee to Castlemaine Road at the hairpin bends. There are a significant number of local and regional and local roads blocked or partially blocked by fallen trees, electricity poles and debris in all parts of the county so travel should be avoided.

The Ballycasheen Road in Killarney and Main Street in Ballybunion (and the surrounding area) should be avoided due to concerns about potential falling debris.

The Council’s emergency contact number is 066 7183588 and it will be operational through this evening and tonight.

Fallen electricity wires/poles and power outages should be reported to ESB Networks on 1800 372 999.

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