A friend to all, Paudie’s charm and wit is legendary

January 14th, 2023 4:00 PM

By Martin Walsh

Paudie Palmer pictured with Olympic champions Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan at the 2022 West Cork Sports Star awards. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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SO much has been said and written over these last few days about the late Paudie Palmer, the immensely popular sports broadcaster, columnist and podcaster and friend to virtually everyone in West Cork and far beyond, who passed away on Sunday. 

While the GAA was the biggest part of his sporting diet, he was passionate about many other sports and from the perspective of this page, he took an avid interest in all things motorsport and included them in his broadcasts. 

One of the sporting occasions he enjoyed most was the West Cork Sports Star Awards and it was a privilege to have sat with him at the annual presentation since it began all of 25 years ago. 

When he addressed the audience, there was no script. Paudie was Paudie – what you saw was what you got. He had that unique talent and charm for endearing himself to everyone with his witticisms and colourful descriptions of events and people. He said what many others would or could never say (for obvious reasons) but he managed to carry it off with aplomb.

Behind all the fun and banter, of which there was plenty, Paudie was a sincere person and from his teachings, had a great interest in youth, both academically and sporting. 

The weekend sport review on C103 on Monday lunchtime had people glued to their radios on building sites and beauty spots and everywhere else in between. Many of his descriptions during those broadcasts and from Sunday afternoons are now firmly etched in folklore. 

Aside from phone conversations, I was also lucky enough to chat with him before and after matches around West Cork. His popularity was infectious. So much more is left unsaid like our discussions about Manchester United – a shared like. It is an honour that his Twitter page photo was the one I took of him with our Olympic rowing champions Fintan and Paul. Yes, Paudie was a champion amongst champions. 

To his wife Colette, daughters Claire and Emily and the extended Palmer and Cottrell families, my sincere sympathy on your huge loss. 

Rest in Peace, ‘my man’.

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