The Offaly GAA community has been saddened to learn of the death of former football star Paddy Fenning.
Aged 69, Paddy’s passing on the morning of 15th May was greeted with tremendous sadness as he was a highly respected person throughout Offaly and further afield.
Offaly GAA supporters fondly remember Paddy’s crucial goal in the 1972 All-Ireland final replay, which inspired the Faithful County to a famous victory over Kerry.
He also won an All-Ireland medal in 1971, four Leinster SFC medals in 1970, ’71, ’72 and ’80, and a Railway cup medal with Leinster in 1974.
Paddy’s first senior game for Offaly was actually in Wembley Stadium, London, in 1969 and his last time to line out for his county was the All-Ireland semi-final versus Kerry in 1980. During that time, he played over 90 times for Offaly between league and championship.
The highlights of Paddy’s career with Tullamore included Offaly Senior Football Championship victories in 1973 and 1977, and he remained a strong supporter of both club and county activities after retiring from playing.
He edited a popular book, ‘Offaly – The Faithful County, A Pictorial History of the Football Years’ in 1993, and was the main organiser of reunions for the all-conquering 1971/’72 teams.
In addition to his GAA achievements, Paddy made a huge contribution to his local community, primarily as the driving force behind fund-raising initiatives for several worthy causes. Thankfully, this work didn’t go unnoticed and he was honoured as the Offaly Person of the Year in 2011.
Sadly, Paddy was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year but despite this, he remained committed to helping others and had spear-headed a major effort to raise €150,000 towards researching the condition and supporting those who suffer from it, while also assisting homeless causes in Offaly.
The massive turn-out at the launch for this fund-raiser in February was a perfect example of the esteem in which Paddy was held throughout the county.
Offaly GAA extend sincere sympathies to Paddy’s wife Kathryn, daughter Amy, son Barry, grandchildren, relatives and friends. May he rest in peace.