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‘Adrigole is everything to me'

October 1st, 2017 1:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Family affair: Kevin Jer, Eddie Jer, Finbarr Jer and Paudie B O'Sullivan present the Eamonn Jer Cup to Adrigole captain Austin Harrington after winning the Beara U10 football final. (Photo: Anne Marie Cronin)

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Kevin Jer O’Sullivan inducted into All-Ireland Hall of Fame

 

BY GER McCARTHY

 

KEVIN Jer O’Sullivan is some character. 

When asked his age, his reply that he would be 70 ‘if it was to be next week’s death notices’ is followed by a long and hearty laugh.

‘I’m as fit as a fiddle but a few pounds overweight alright,’ admits the former Cork and Adrigole stalwart.

‘I can also confirm that I am not part of the Bere Island lottery-winning syndicate! You can ask Mary Murphy to put me into it by all means but I’m delighted to hear the money was won there.’

The former Cork All-Star defender and Adrigole stalwart was inducted into the All-Ireland Hall of Fame at a special ceremony held in the Eccles Hotel, Glengarriff last week.

‘Receiving the All-Ireland Hall of Fame award, I was speechless on the night … well, not really!’ he laughed.

‘It was a bit overpowering alright when I first walked into the hall but having all my own gang there made it a hugely entertaining night.’

Many of Kevin Jer’s former teammates, opposing players, family and neighbours made it an evening to remember despite his great friend Michéal Ó Muircheartaigh was unable to attend.

‘It was a fantastic honour, something I never expected,’ repeated O’Sullivan. 

‘It was lovely to get so many people together there for old time’s sake, a special pleasure to see over 300 ex-players, friends and family enjoying a fantastic night. Michéal Ó Muircheartaigh didn’t make it on the night itself and met up with us the day before instead as he had to attend Jimmy Magee’s funeral.

‘Michéal is and always will be a great friend of mine and took the time to put together a lovely tribute despite not being able to make the event.

‘I was overcome with emotion to be honest with you as I never in a million years expected something like this to come about. 

When I look back at it now I had forgotten about a lot of it (playing GAA) until spending the last few months talking about nothing else to yourselves in The Southern Star and plenty others!’

And that’s what makes Kevin Jer such a unique character. The fact he cherishes the memories of the many people he met whilst playing rather than dwelling on the medals and honours received in the red and white of Cork and Adrigole.

‘I won every honour in the game but never dwelled too long on those things,’ O’Sullivan said. 

‘For me, the biggest thing was getting to play with and against so many wonderful players down through the years. It was fantastic to see so many of those fellas that I togged out with going back to when I first started playing with Adrigole back in 1964. 

‘It made me immensely proud to stand up on the stage, look down and see so many people there from Cork, Kerry, Galway and Dublin. Looking back now, I travelled so far to and from training and made so many great friends. 

‘People like Tommy Joe Gilmore and his wife from Galway were at the ceremony and he would have been on the All-Star team of 72 and 73 with me back in the day. All the Cork boys, Martin Quinn from Meath was there too, it was just a lovely night.’

Even today, Kevin Jer understands how important GAA is to Adrigole and the surrounding rural area. The pride the former All-Ireland winner takes in his club is obvious when he speaks about the great work being done on and off the pitch since his own playing days.

‘Adrigole is everything to me and I would never have kicked a ball were it not for the GAA club there,’ noted O’Sullivan.

‘I started watching Adrigole in 1960 and since then, it has been my life, my family’s life and means the world to us. Now my grandchildren are playing and have a great underage setup for which our club deserves huge credit.

‘There is a U10 cup that we won out in Eyries last weekend, named after my father Eamon Jer, and we retained the trophy for the fifth year in a row which a superb achievement. That underlines the fantastic work being done by our club’s mentors not just at U10 but in all the age-grades.’

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