Páidí Ó Sé


Páidí Ó Sé : biography

16 May 1955 – 15 December 2012

In 2002, Kerry were still the masters of provincial football and Ó Sé guided his county to a sixth Munster title. Kerry later reached a third All-Ireland final under Ó Sé, this time with Armagh providing the opposition. At half-time it looked as if Kerry were on course for the ultimate victory. The Ulstermen lost John McEntee to concussion while Oisín McConville missed a penalty just before the interval. With a four-point lead and playing into the wind Kerry were set. McConville, however, scored a decisive goal in the fifty-fifth minute which stunned Kerry. Ó Sé’s side failed to score for the last seventeen minutes as Armagh went on to claim their first All-Ireland title with a 1-12 to 0-14 victory.The GAA Book of Lists p. 411.

2003 saw Ó Sé’s tenure as manager dogged by controversy. In January of that year he gave a controversial interview to the Irish Independent in which he described the Kerry supporters as "the roughest type of fucking animals you could ever deal with". Ó Sé was forced to issue an embarrassing apology; however, he still guided his team to a seventh Munster title in eight years. Kerry, however, were later trounced by eventual champions Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final. Ó Sé later described the result as a "disastrous defeat". He was fired as manager. Speaking from his second home in Marbella, Ó Sé said: "I have to put it on record that I was extremely disappointed in the manner it [his sacking] was done."


One week after being sacked as Kerry manager, Ó Sé was unveiled as the new manager of the Westmeath senior football team. On Sunday, 10 March 2004, Westmeath took on Jack O’Connor’s Kerry team in a fourth-round league match, with Kerry winning by a scoreline of 2-10 to 0-10 victory, as Ó Sé sat on the bench, later admitting in the documentary Marooned that it was "the hardest day of my life outside bereavements and things like that". Things improved a wee bit and Ó Sé led the county to their first ever Leinster Championship title in his first season in charge. The 0-12 to 0-10 defeat of Laois in the provincial decider proved that Ó Sé was a manager of some considerable skill. However, Westmeath’s dream season came to an abrupt halt with a defeat by Derry in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

Ó Sé’s second season in charge was less successful. Westmeath were dumped out of the provincial championship on their first outing. A defeat of Tipperary in the subsequent All-Ireland qualifiers was followed by a loss to Clare. This defeat brought Ó Sé’s tenure to an end, and he was replaced by his understudy Tomás Ó Flatharta.


In 2006, Ó Sé was linked with a possible return to Kerry as manager; however, instead he was appointed manager of the Clare senior footballers. Once again expectations were high that Ó Sé would work his magic in a non-traditional football county. His tenure got off to a bad start when Clare were defeated by Waterford in the opening round of the provincial campaign and dumped out of the Championship. Speculation was rife that Ó Sé had abandoned Clare after this defeat. However, he returned and Clare later participated in the Tommy Murphy Cup competition, though a defeat by Antrim in the semi-final brought Ó Sé’s tenure as manager to a premature end. He would never again manage at inter-county level.