O'Dea ready for the long haul


Padraic O'Dea and son Niall O'Dea. Padraic's grandson Padraic Lyons sits in the Sam Maguire Cup, and
who is a first cousin of Bill Maher's,
captain of the Tipp minor hurling team

The draw between Kilkenny and Galway was the first in an All-Ireland final since 1959 when Waterford triumphed over the Cats in a replay. The sides must go head to head again on September 30th and one Galway supporter believes that even extra-time might not separate the sides the next day.

Moycullen native Padraig O'Dea may have lived in Dublin for the past 30 + years, but he has never forgotten his roots and was in Croke Park as the teams played out an exciting draw last time out. Indeed, Padraig was an interested spectator in the minor match also as his adopted county Dublin played out a draw also in their tussle against Tipperary. Indeed, the Galway man had an allegiance with Tipp as well as his son in law's nephew Bill Maher captained the Premier County in drawn game.

“It was an interesting day to say the least, especially in the minor game. It was a great occasion for the whole family. Our next door neighbour is Paul Winters, who was the Dublin free taker in the minor game, and his parents are good friends of our and actual hail from Galway,” revealed Padraig to hoganstand.com.

“I thought the game itself was not of the best of quality, Tipp took a while to find their rhythm, but were many people's favourites to win the game, so Dublin deserve great credit for pushing them all the way and a draw was a fair result at the end of it.”

Cillian O'Dea playing for St. Brigids minors

Padraig believes that the senior game could turn into a lengthy saga as the sides are so evenly matched, although he admitted that Galway should have pushed on in the second half of the match.

“I firmly believe that Galway will win, but I wouldn't be surprised if it would be another draw. It could actually turn into another Meath/Dublin saga (the sides met four times in the 1991 Leinster SFC before Meath eventually won), which I'm sure would delight the GAA,” he quipped.

“I was happy enough with the position that Galway were in at half time when they were five points in front, but I do think they should have pushed on from the second goal, which they didn't. Their tactics seemed to change in that second half and it played into Kilkenny's hands.”

In 2008, the O'Dea family had another momentous occasion at Croke as his native Moycullen were crowned All-Ireland club intermediate football champions. The occasion was all the more special as Padraig's brother Sean was manager of the side.

“That was a great day for the whole family and a game that they thoroughly deserved to win. I would continue to follow their fortunes despite living in Dublin for over 30 years now. Many people would describe Moycullen as a football club, but they are actually a dual club who have won both senior football and senior hurling championships down through the years. Their hurlers were recently crowned the All-Ireland club 11-a-side champions in Ratoath.”

Niall O'Dea palying for St. Brigids minor

Since moving to Dublin, Padraig has resided in Blanchardstown and he became involved in his local club St Brigid's for whom he acted as chairman for a number of years and it was during this period that the club made a breakthrough in the Dublin SFC by winning the title. Off the field the club also made huge strides as they installed a state of the art all-weather pitch that is still the envy of all the country.

“When we were deciding to put in the new pitch, we had a look at some of the ones that were already here, but we found that we didn't like any of them. So three of us went to the U.S to have a look there and we found one that suited us. Kevin Kilmurray, who managed Offaly was one of those who came over and when we came back, he took it upon himself to install the new pitch.

“It was an enjoyable time for the club both on and off the field. My son, Niall plays football for the club and he actually won a Leinster minor football title with Dublin, a couple of years ago.”

Away from the playing field, Padraig is the managing director of Haggard Stores, which is based in Garristown, Co Dublin. The company was initially established in 1982 under the name Padraig O'Dea Agri Stores in Mulhuddart, but in 2008 they moved premises.