intimate reception | 

Former Kerry GAA manager Mick O’Dwyer (86) marries partner Geraldine in Killarney

Glamorous bride, Geraldine Shields, who is a grandmother, is originally from Co Tyrone

Legendary Kerry Footbal Manager Micko O'Dwyer pictured at his wedding to Geraldine McGirr from Tyrone in the Great Southern Hotel, Killarney on Friday. Photo: MacMonagle

Mick O’Dwyer marries Geraldine Shields

O’Dwyer as Kildare manager

Anne Lucey, Senan Molony and Ryan NugentSunday World

The marriage has taken place in Killarney of 86-year-old legendary former Kerry football manager Mick O’Dwyer and Geraldine McGirr, his partner.

The event at the Civil Registry Office in Killarney on Friday was followed by a small intimate reception at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney.

The glamorous bride who is a grandmother is originally from Co Tyrone.

The couple have known each other some years. They will reside in Waterville.

O’Dwyer’s first wife Mary Carmel died in 2012. The couple married in 1962. They had four sons, one of whom Haulie, died last October.

O’Dwyer is the most successful gaelic football manager of all time, winning eight All-Ireland titles with Kerry. He has also won four Celtic crosses as a player.

He also had successful stints in charge of the Kildare and Laois footballers, after he stepped away from the Kerry job in 1989.

O’Dwyer as Kildare manager

He took Kildare to the All-Ireland Final in 1998 where they were narrowly defeated by Galway, while he caused a shock in the Leinster Championship when his Laois side defeated Dublin and Kildare on the way to winning the title in 2003.

He also had coaching stints at Wicklow and Clare.

The Waterville man told the Irish Independent in an interview in 2014 that the death of his first wife was one of the main reasons he decided to retire from GAA management at a high level, as he referenced the great Kerry team his name will always be synonymous with.

"Of course, the passing of my wife didn't help and really made my mind up that it was time to go,” he said.

"When fellas like Paidi O Se were passing away, people I trained, and John Egan and Tim Kennelly, great players, great men and wonderful people, it was time to go.

"That team of '75 to '86 were an unbelievable bunch of men and I suppose I was so close to them because we were a team and that was it.”

He led the famous four-in-a-row side which went on a winning run between 1978 and 1981 – before falling short of a fifth successive title by losing to Offaly in one of the most iconic All Ireland finals in 1982.

His former player Pat Spillane dedicated a chapter of his autobiography ‘Shooting from the Hip’ to O’Dwyer, despite claiming the manager’s tactics could have been scrawled on the back of a postage stamp.

"It was his man management skills that set him apart as the greatest manager in the history of Gaelic football," Spillane wrote.

"If he was not gifted in this way there is no way he would have kept the same bunch of players together and motivated over a 12-year period."

However, he has still involved himself locally, coaching an under-14 team as recently as 2017.


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