Ardfinnan GAA club mourns three-in-a-row team member Patie O'Brien

Ardfinnan GAA club mourns three-in-a-row team member Patie O'Brien

The late Paddy (Patie) O'Brien.

                    

Paddy O'Brien, Ballineety,  Ardfinnan passed away in July, just seven months after the death of his wife Margaret.

Born in Ardfinnan in 1942, Paddy, who was better known as Patie, joined the Irish Army at an early age and in the early years was stationed in The Curragh. 

He served with the army all over the world until his retirement. Paddy and Margaret reared ten children - six boys and four girls - and he was an outstanding family man, although his work meant he spent significant periods of time overseas.

From an early age Paddy showed a keen interest in football and hurling and first wore the Ardfinnan jersey in 1957 playing at midfield in the U-15 South Football Championship. 

Two years later he lined out at centre back in the club's defeat to Clonmel Commercials in the South Minor Football Final. 

In 1962 he made his senior debut for the club in the Tipperaryman's Cup final victory over Clonmel Commercials, scoring a goal and a point, and was a member of the panel that won the South and County Senior Football Championships. 

By 1963 he was a regular on the team and helped the club retain the South and County Senior Football titles, wearing the number fifteen jersey. In that same year he lined out at centre back for the U-21 team that won the South Football title. 

Paddy's ability was also recognised by the county and he lined out in the blue and gold in the Munster U-21 Football Championship that year.

By now Paddy had also established himself as the goalkeeper on Ballybacon-Grange's Senior Hurling team but they lost to Marlfield in the first round of championship. He won an U-21 South Hurling medal with Ballybacon-Grange when lining out in goal in the South Final victory over Carrick Swans. 

n 1964 Paddy helped Ardfinnan retain the South Senior Football title and win three in-a-row county titles, lining out at wing forward in the victory over St. Flannan's on a day never to be forgotten. 

In 1965, playing at corner back, he helped the club win the South U-21 Football title. 

Paddy continued to play for both clubs but his most memorable  victory in hurling came in 1968 when, on a historic day, Ballybacon-Grange defeated Marlfield in the South Senior Hurling Championship Final in Cahir by four points, with Paddy wearing the number twelve jersey.

Paddy's contribution to Ardfinnan GAA club is best summed up by his versatility in playing in any position and he was comfortable in doing so. 

After his playing days ended he continued to follow the fortunes of both clubs and when the club honoured the sixties three-in-a-row winning teams in 2005 Paddy attended, and was also present at the history launch in 2011. 

Paddy's contribution on the playing fields to Ardfinnan GAA club will be remembered with great pride. 

The club extends its deepest sympathy to his family.