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President Michael D Higgins leads tributes to Kerry legend Páidí Ó Sé

Updated: Sunday, 16 Dec 2012 18:08 | Comments

Páidí Ó Sé won eight All-Ireland and 11 Munster titles
Páidí Ó Sé won eight All-Ireland and 11 Munster titles

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President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to Páidí Ó Sé following the death of the eight-time All-Ireland winner.

Speaking in Galway this afternoon, President Higgins said: "Páidí O Sé had a reputation that went far beyond his great achievements in sport, and far beyond the boundaries of his own beloved county.

“It was a great contribution", he said.

"I send my sympathies to him and his family, and all those related to him."

Pat Spillane, a lifelong friend and Kerry team-mate said: "I’m heartbroken. It is very sad news to get. I went to boarding school with Páidí back in 1969 so we had a lifelong friendship and played with Kerry obviously from 1974 to 1986.

"Páidí was one of the all-time great. He was rogue in the best sense of the word and a warrior. Eight All-Ireland medal and played in 10 All-Ireland finals ; there was only one point ever scored from play off him in those 10 All-Ireland finals. He was an amazing man. He was a great character."

GAA President Liam Ó Néill has expressed his sympathies on behalf of the GAA to the Ó Sé family.

He said: "There was hardly a person on the island of Ireland, never mind in the GAA, who did not recognise or know of Páidí Ó Sé, such was his contribution to the Association and to Irish life over a prolonged period.

"His excellence on the field of play in what was the greatest football team of all time still stands out to those of us who saw it and his passion for the game in no way ended with the completion of his playing days.

"His elevation to management, firstly at Under-21 level but then at senior, saw his reputation further embellished and he is one of the few people to have succeeded in claiming All-Ireland honors both as a manager and a player after a distinguished career that stretched far beyond his native Kerry.

"Páidí's affection for the Irish language and Irish culture in general were other hall marks of a man who was steeped in the area he called home.

"On behalf of the wider GAA family I extend my condolences to his wife Máire, his daughters Siún and Neasa, son Pádraig Óg, brother Tomás and the wider Ó Sé family including his nephews Darragh, Tomás and Marc, all of whom followed his example in the green and gold of Kerry."

The former President Sean Kelly said Páidí gave 100% in everything he did in football and he achieved it.

And he said his determination knew no bounds.

Former Mayo, Galway and Leitrim manager John O'Mahony added: "As someone who played against him and managed Galway against him in an All-Ireland final in 2000, Páidí became a personal friend over the years and I am deeply shocked at his sad passing.

"Páidí was a great servant of the GAA, as a player and a manager, and he was the life and soul of the party wherever he went. His contribution to the GAA for Kerry and nationally was immense.

"My sympathy is with his family; his wife Maire and his three children, Neasa, Siún and Padraig Óg at this difficult time.

"His loyalty to the people he knew and to the GAA was remarkable. He will be sorely missed."

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