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Paddy O'Brien RIP   04/07/2021

Paddy  O’Brien

Paddy O’Brien, who died on 30th June, was the last surviving member of the O’Brien brothers of Castleinch, who gave such sterling service to Éire Óg for almost 30 years, from the mid 1940s until 1973. He followed Jim and Billy into the Club and brought his younger brother, Derry, in as well.

Though he was best known as a full forward, he first featured as full back and captain of Éire Óg’s 1951 Juvenile team, which went on to win the Mid-Cork title in 1952. He had graduated to centre back by the time the Minor team won Mid-Cork in 1953. He also played all of his football for the Club in the full back line.

In 1954 Billy and Paddy went to work at Healy’s Limeworks at Mile Bush, between Carrigtwohill and Midleton, which was owned by their neighbours, Con and Kevin Healy, Brown Hill.   Éire Óg’s adult teams were going through a very lean patch at that time, and Midleton to Killumney for training was a long journey on a bicycle, so the O’Briens joined the Carrigtwohill club who were playing Senior hurling, with some great players such as Mattie Fouhy, Willie John Daly, Seán Twomey, etc..   Paddy was their regular right full back in ’54, ’55, ’56 and ’57. Billy played at full or left full back.

In 1958 transport improved and Éire Óg hurlers were improving, so Paddy and Billy returned to their native Club and Paddy brought his brother-in-law Tom Savage in 1959. Paddy was repositioned at full forward. He was ideally suited to the role, as a big powerfully built man and when he got a ball in his hand it took a very good full back to stop him scoring. He was rarely held scoreless and usually scored more goals than points.

He won Mid-Cork Junior Hurling titles in 1960, ’61 and ’62 and a Co. Junior Hurling title in 1962. He won an Intermediate League medal -1963 and Walsh Cup medal – 1964 and Co. Intermediate runners-up medal in 1965. He also won a Mid-Cork Junior B football medal in 1961. He was a regular on Muskerry SH teams and was on the Cork Intermediate Hurling sides of 1963 and 1964, hitting the net from full forward as usual. When most of his contemporaries had retired, he was full forward on the 1972 Éire Óg team that won the Mid-Cork Junior Hurling title.

Though married and settled in Midleton, in a house called Na hUamhanna, he never lost touch with his native Ovens. Paddy and his late wife, Dinah, were always in attendance at any important local event. Go ndéana Dia trócaire air agus in Iothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn.

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