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Genial Kerryman is much cherished

BRENDAN McGlynn has penned a lovely tribute to Paul Curran, who died last month.

Paul played for Kerry at all levels. He won a basket of medals. He's from Valentia Island, the youngest of a family of seven, five boys and two girls born to Teresa and the late John.

He attended Chapeltown Primary School on the island and went to secondary school in Cahersiveen.

He worked as a carpenter. He came to Dublin in 1993. He played for the Ballyboden St Enda's team that won their first Dublin Senior Football Championship title in 1995.

They also won Division 1 of the League that year.

He later signed for Naomh Olaf. "He was a wonderful addition to the senior team. He was very influential in all the club's success during that period," recalls Brendan.

Olaf's were promoted to Division 1, and they secured their first senior trophy, the AIB Cup.

"Paul was a brilliant footballer and an outstanding sportsman," reflects Brendan. "He was a great fielder of the ball. He was accurate off both feet. He was a joy to watch.

"Midfield was his preferred position, but he was also a very effective half-forward, a prolific scorer who could weave so gracefully through opposing defences."

He married Karen Doyle from Dundrum. They have three teenage daughters, Sarah, Clodagh and Caoimhe.

He returned to live in his beloved Kerry in 2000 and he played with his club, Valentia Young Islanders, till 2009.

The following year he was diagnosed with cancer. He fought the bravest of battles.

A Trust Fund was set up to raise money for an operation he desperately needed.

The community responded. In Dublin, his old friends, Olaf's and Boden held a big fund-raiser.

Paul was a member of the Valentia Pipe Band. He played the bagpipes.

A lone piper led the cortège at the funeral. Huge crowds attended.

They included Mick O'Connell, Maurice Fitzgerald, Mick and Karl O'Dwyer, plus the O Se brothers, Darragh, Tomas and Marc.

Valentia Young Islanders, Olaf's and Boden formed a guard of honour.

Paddy Feehan, the Olaf's Braveheart, spoke of his dear friend and the impact he had while in Dublin.

Paul was buried at Cill Mór on the island. Home by the sea.