A lively sporting event is guaranteed in Newcastle West this Friday, November 25th when footballers from Limerick face off against a Kerry side in a special fundraising match. And, in a bid to ramp up the rivalry, the Limerick manager for the day will be Fianna Fail TD Willie O’Dea while Danny Healy Rae will be shouting his own brand of encouragement to his Kerry players from the sidelines.
There will guest appearances including: Darragh O Se, David Moran, Eddie Brennan, James Masters, Michael Cussen, Ian Corbett and Jamie Lee. There will be a few other surprise guests on the day and local man, Patrick O’Donovan Minister for Sport will throw in the ball to start the game.
However, a family tragedy lies behind the event which is being co-ordinated by gardai in Limerick, Kerry and Cork in support of one of their own. Conor the 10 year old son of Garda Pat Harrington and his wife Miriam and brother of Donnacha died last month of Leukemia. Garda Harrington serves in Cork but is well known to his Limerick and Kerry colleagues. Friday’s match is their gesture to help comfort the family in its pain and to help raise funds for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin where Conor was treated. The plan is to help out with family expenses also. The match will take place in the GAA grounds in Newcastle West at 3pm explained Det. Inspector Eamon O Neill, Henry Street Garda Station who is helping organise the event., and although the reason for the match is a sad and tragic one, they aim to make it as much fun as possible for those who attend. “It should be a good event for children coming out of school” he said. There will be an opportunity for children to get autographs of their footballing heroes and there will some novelty elements to be enjoyed,” said Det. Inspector O’Neill.
Among those wearing the Limerick colours will be: Graham O Connell, Joe Hayes, Shane Hickey and Enda Coughlan, while those wearing the green and gold will include: Stephen Kelly and current Kerry senior star defender, Aidan O’Mahony. The referee and officials are all volunteering their services for the match. Later on there will be a raffle and auction with many many great prizes including signed county jerseys, rounds of golf, shop vouchers and a one-week accommodation in Portugal for two. Tickets for the event cost €5 each or three for €10 and these will be included in the raffle. They can be bought on the day itself or in Garda stations in Tralee and Newcastle West.