AN IDEA inspired by the late Páidí Ó Sé has resulted in over €13,000 being raised for Limerick charities.
John Franklin from Ballyneety, Pallasgreen travelled to Kerry to pay his respects to the GAA legend last December.
“On the way home we were saying how sad it was that he had passed away at such a young age. I said it would be much better to meet fellows while they are alive.
“We started talking about our own 1973 All-Ireland champions forty years on. What a fantastic team they were and remarkable of a panel of 21 that they were all still alive. Sadly, Andy Dunworth passed away in April,” said John.
The massive hurling fan set up the Friends of Limerick ‘73 committee. John got retro Limerick 1973 jerseys and hurleys made before calling to the players to get them signed.
“They thought it was a great idea. It was great craic meeting them all again and remembering the old days and hearing their stories,” said John.
It was hoped that Friends of Limerick ‘73 could also mark those men being the last to lift the Liam MacCarthy cup.
“Unfortunately they are still the last but with the help of God it will be soon,” said John.
The planned an event in Ahern’s in Kilteely to auction off the jerseys and hurleys, and draw the lucky raffle ticket winners.
But John’s idea captured the imagination of GAA followers and it spawned a table quiz in Knockane, brain of Limerick quiz in the Woodlands, cake sale and a run/walk. Photographer Michael Martin read about it and collated and framed a selection of pictures, some that were never published.
This was bought by Conor Fitzgerald, of the Woodlands, for €1,000 and hangs proudly in the hotel. So it was back to Adare to see it on Friday night and the official cheque presentation.
John handed over three cheques for €4,545 to Milford Care Centre, Daughters of Charity in Lisnagry and MS Limerick.
“When we started we hoped to raise €6,000 or €7,000 but we have doubled that. The charities were delighted too,” said John, who had a special word of thanks for their three main sponsors - Woodlands House Hotel, Senator James Heffernan and St Ailbe’s Credit Union, all his committee and everyone who supported Friends of Limerick ‘73.