BY CON DOWNING
THE terrible news that Paudie Palmer had died from injuries suffered ten days previously in a hit-and-run road collision near his home at Innishannon left all of us who knew him devastated, but none more so than his wife, Colette, and family, to whom we extend our heartfelt sympathy.
The manner in which he was taken from us so suddenly was cruel, especially given that he had heroically prevailed in his battle with an aggressive form of cancer over recent years to re-emerge as the jovial rogue that we all knew and loved.
I had the pleasure of working closely with him on the Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Star Awards since their inception in 1998 – with Paudie representing c103 and me The Southern Star – and we, as judges, had the unenviable task of picking the winners. We must have chosen well over 250 monthly winners and 23 overall annual winners before I bowed out on retirement in 2021, after which we kept in touch and both of us were really looking forward to the forthcoming 25th annual awards dinner.
During all that time we never had a falling-out, nor were we ever taken to task by anyone aggrieved by our choices.
Those of us involved had great fun debating the nominations and then making the presentations, largely thanks to the often-hilarious random nuggets of information Paudie used to glean about those up for consideration; you’d never know what he’d come out with next!
In recent years, he took to social media like a duck to water and he enjoyed veritable celebrity status across West Cork and beyond, always having a friendly word for everyone he met. ‘Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís’ may be a hackneyed phrase, but it’s really apt in Paudie’s case.
Rest easy my good friend.