Club Membership

Paul Curran Memorial

Paul Curran, 1971-2014 an Appreciation

By Brendan McGlynn.


The news of the untimely death of Paul Curran, following a long illness, borne with great fortitude and dignity, was greeted with a deep sense of loss and sadness. Paul died peacefully in his home on Valentia Island, Co Kerry, on the 13th. October, 2014, surrounded by his wife Karen and family.  Paul was born and reared on picturesque Valentia Island.  He was the youngest of a family of seven, five boys and two girls born to Teresa and the late John Curran.  He attended primary school on the island and secondary school in Cahersiveen.  Paul was a carpenter by trade. He was married to Karen Doyle from Dundrum, and they have three teenage daughters, Sarah, Clodagh, and Caoimhe.


Paul was an outstanding sportsman.  He was a brilliant Gaelic footballer, a great fielder of the ball, and accurate off both feet from long or short distances.  Midfield was his preferred position, but he was a very effective half forward, a prolific scorer and was a joy to watch as he weaved his way gracefully through opposing defences. He represented Kerry at Minor, Under 21, Junior and Senior level.  He won two under 21 County Championships in 1991 and 1992.  He played for Kerry in the 1992 under 21 All Ireland Final.  Paul played Senior Football for Kerry, and he lined out for them in their National League play-off against Meath in 1992.


Paul moved to Dublin in 1993.  He transferred to Naomh Olaf in 1997.  In December 1997 he was voted the Irish Nationwide Dublin G.A.A. Club Footballer of the Month.  In 1998 Naomh Olaf were promoted to Division one of the League, and in 1999 the senior football team won its first silverware, the A.I.B. Cup.  Paul was very influential in all of the Club’s success during that period.  In 2000 Paul returned to live in his beloved Kingdom and played with his home club Valentia Young Islanders until 2009. During the course of a brilliant Club career he won six South Kerry Senior Championship medals.  He played the bagpipes and was a member of the Valentia Pipe Band.       


In 2010 Paul was diagnosed with cancer and he underwent surgery at Kerry General hospital.  He fought a remarkably brave four year battle against his illness.  In 2012 a trust fund was established in his name to raise funds for an operation he so desperately needed.  He later underwent surgery at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, which prolonged his life. Naomh Olaf Club held a very successful fund raising event for him.


Paul was waked in his home and reposed at Daly’s funeral home in Cahersiveen, his concelebrated funeral Mass was celebrated in Chapeltown Parish Church, Valentia, on the 15th October 2014.   A very large number of sympathizers came to his home, to the funeral home in and also to his funeral Mass to say their prayerful farewells. The large and representative attendances, including many well known Gaelic footballers, of past and present generations, and was testimony to the affection in which Paul was held by all who had the privilege of knowing him.  Members of the Valentia Young Islanders, Naomh Olaf, and Ballyboden Saint Endas G.A.A. Clubs formed a guard of honour as his coffin was taken from the church.  His remains were taken to Cill Mór cemetery on the Island for burial.  After the burial the chairman of the Valentia Club spoke.  Paddy Feehan from Naomh Olaf spoke on his own behalf, and behalf of all who had the pleasure of playing football with Paul while he was in Dublin.  Paul’s wife Karen spoke, as did Paul’s brother Tony.  They expressed their sincere gratitude to their neighbours, friends, and to the wider community, particularly the wider G.A.A. community, for the moral and very generous financial support Paul had received during his illness. They spoke of how much it meant to Paul, and his family. The family invited everyone present to the Royal Hotel, Valentia, for a meal.


Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.  



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