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(2005 / 2006)

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Kerry Persons of the Year 2005
Jack O'Connor
Kerry Persons of the Year -
(Pictured From Left To Right)
Denis Geaney (2004),
Jack O’Connor
Brian O’Mahony

Jack O'Connor - Kerry Person of the Year 2005

Born October 1960 Jack O’Connor is the youngest of nine children. His mother Sheile (RIP) also O'Connor, hailed from Glencar. Both parents met at a house dance in "Gilpins" on the Glencar side of Ballaghoisin. His father, Michael, was a small farmer.

As a young boy Jack went to Caslagh N.S. at the top of the Inny Valley where his Principal was Padraig Breathnach (RIP). After completing his secondary education in Scoil Ui Chonaill he moved on to Maynooth college where he spent four years studying as a trainee teacher. The trainer of the Maynooth team during those years was the current Tyrone selector, Fr. Gerard McAleer. Jack's first job was at Waterville Tech under Michael Donnelly. He progressed from there to Scoil Ui Chonaill where he remained on the teaching staff until 1999, except for three years spent in the USA. On returning from America in 1989 he and his brother Michael built and opened The Inny Tavern at Kileenleigh which they later sold.

At this stage Jack was heavily involved with Dromid Pearses and helped them progress through the ranks in Kerry football, from Div. 5 to Div. 1. He played and trained the club team for approx twenty years. He helped them win the Kerry Novice Championship in 1991. He was on the Kerry Tech team that won two All Ireland Championships in 1977 and 1978. He was a sub on the South Kerry team that won two Senior County Championships in 1980 and 1981. He played on the South Kerry team beaten by West Kerry in the county final of 1984. He was manager of the Kerry Tech team that won two All Ireland Championships (1992 and 1993). In 1993 he was a Kerry U-21

selector under Paidi O Se. He was a Kerry selector in 1995 when Kerry won the All Ireland. He trained Kerry U-21 teams (1996 and 1998) to win the All Ireland. He was trainer/Manager of Scoil Ui Chonaill in 1997 when they won the All Ireland. He managed Colaiste na Sceilge to win two

All Ireland vocational titles in 1999 and 2000. After that, Colaiste na Sceilge entered the All
Ireland Colleges competition and they won three Munster titles (Corn Ui Mhuire) in a row, 2001, 2002 and 2003.
Jack is also a golfer of some standing and plays off a handicap of 7. He has been involved in 14 All Ireland finals including two replays, and lost only two. Last year he led Kerry out of the wilderness to All Ireland honours. He later made a critical input to the South Kerry team that won the County Championship. Then he turned his talents to Dromid Pearses and trained the team that won a first South Kerry title in December. One of his fondest memories was helping Pearses to win Comortas Peile na Gaeltacht in Gwedore (1995).

He is married to Bridie (nee Moriarty) from the Glen, one of seven children. They have two boys, Cian (15) and Eanna (12). Eanna is considered to be a star footballer in the making.

Jack accepted the nomination of Kerry Person of the Year at a launch at the ESB Head Office on Thursday, February 3rd. At his acceptance speech Jack insisted that he accepted the award on behalf of all the players, without whom this honour would not have been possible. The award will be presented to Jack at Oiche Chiarrai on February 26th in Moran’s Red Cow Hotel.

About The Kerry Person Of The Year Title

One of the most privileged duties of the Kerry Association Committee is the annual selection of Kerry Person of the Year. From Dr. Michael Carmody in 1979 to Mr. Denis Geaney in 2003 and the 25-years between the standard of nominations submitted would be impressive on a national level, and shows just how blessed Kerry is with talented and wonderful people.

Nominations for Kerry Person of the Year are accepted from October to December each year.
The criteria for selection is that the nominated person must have been born in Kerry. The selected Kerry Person of the Year is announced in January/February each year, culminating in presentation of an award at Oíche Chiarraí in February/March. Traditionally the award presented is an original sculpture designed by Cliodna Cussen and very kindly sponsored by the Kerry Group.

For those of you who have attended some or many of our Oíche Chiarraí's the following list should bring back some wonderful memories of nights of music, song, dance and great fun. Long may this tradition continue.

Kerry Person Of The Year - 25 Years On

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