Kerry pulling out all the stops to honour great O Muircheartaigh
Kerry have long been regarded as pacesetters on the field of play, and now it would seem that the county is setting a new benchmark in terms of fund-raising at grassroots level.
Plans are at an advanced stage for an upcoming tribute banquet to honour legendary RTE broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh that is expected to generate proceeds which will be channelled towards the new Kerry Sports Academy at Tralee Institute of Technology.
Two of the five parties involved in the project promote sport with disabled people and community integration through sport.
Kerry GAA is just one of the five parties and has only recently completed its own centre of excellence at the Sports Academy complex, something which has already been hailed as a major step forward within the county.
Yesterday the Belfast Telegraph suggested that Ó Muircheartaigh, who retired from his commentating role with RTE following the 2010 All-Ireland final between Cork and Down, might benefit financially from the banquet, but it has been confirmed that no individual will benefit in this way.
Ó Muircheartaigh is an iconic figure within the GAA, and even now at 87 he is still very much in demand to appear at county board and club functions, as well as at the launch of various initiatives.
While many Kerry luminaries are expected to attend the banquet, which is viewed as a major event that can help lend further impetus to the outstanding work currently being undertaken at grassroots level within the Kingdom, it is hoped that the fund-raising will ultimately benefit all strands of society there.
The completion of the centre of excellence in particular is seen as a major boon, and the county board is just one of the bodies that has thrown its weight behind the banquet, which is expected to elicit support from outside the Kingdom.
Indeed, there are indications that officers and members of county boards will be travelling to participate in what is expected to be a high-profile occasion that will see Ó Muircheartaigh regally feted.
He is closely associated with the new Sports Academy and indeed has been joined by other notable Kerry sporting personalties such as former rugby star and politician Dick Spring.
It is also anticipated that officials from Croke Park will attend.