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'Gentleman' Funeral for beloved Mayo GAA legend Paddy Prendergast to take place in Kerry

"He was held in such respect by everybody in Mayo, but in Kerry as well."

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Paddy Prendergast, fullback on the last Mayo senior football team to win an All-Ireland in 1951 proudly holding his All-Ireland medal

Paddy Prendergast, fullback on the last Mayo senior football team to win an All-Ireland in 1951 proudly holding his All-Ireland medal

Paddy Prendergast, fullback on the last Mayo senior football team to win an All-Ireland in 1951 proudly holding his All-Ireland medal

Mayo GAA legend Paddy Prendergast's funeral will be held in his adopted county Kerry this week, it has been announced.

The last surviving member of the 1951 All-Ireland winning team died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on Saturday at the age of 95.

Mr Prendergast was full-back on the Mayo team that lifted Sam back-to-back in 1950 and 1951, and remained a faithful follower of his county in all of the 70 subsequent years of heartbreak.

His death means former GAA president Dr Mick Loftus is the last surviving member of that 1951 squad, although he did not play in the final against Meath.

The GAA star hailed from Ballintubber in Mayo but made Tralee his home after being stationed there as a garda in the 1960s.

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Mayo’s 1951 All-Ireland winning team, with Paddy Prendergast third from right in the front row.

Mayo’s 1951 All-Ireland winning team, with Paddy Prendergast third from right in the front row.

Mayo’s 1951 All-Ireland winning team, with Paddy Prendergast third from right in the front row.

His death notice on RIP.ie reads: "Beloved husband of Irene and dearest father of Petra, Siobhán and Mark, brother of the late Tommy, Philip, Murt, Ray, Dell and Sal.

"Sadly missed by his loving family, grandchildren Will, Callum, Patrick and Helena, sons-in-law William and Andy, daughter-in-law Dayna, his dear sisters Carmel and Barbara, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and friends."

A private wake will be held at the Prendergast home in Ballinorig in Tralee on Tuesday from four to seven pm for family and close friends.

His funeral mass will take place on Wednesday morning, arriving at St John's Church in Tralee at 11.30 am with Requiem Mass at 12pm.

The mass will be livestreamed on www.stjohns.ie and will be followed by a private cremation. Donations in lieu of flowers, may be madeto The Palliative Care Unit at University Hospital Kerry – Kerry Hospice Foundation), or care of the Gleasure Funeral Home, Tralee.

His family say they plan to "further celebrate Paddy’s life in Ballintubber Abbey and on the shores of Lough Carra in summer 2022."

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Paddy Prendergast, who played a starring role in Mayo’s All-Ireland winning team of 1951, proudly displays his All-Ireland medal. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Paddy Prendergast, who played a starring role in Mayo’s All-Ireland winning team of 1951, proudly displays his All-Ireland medal. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Paddy Prendergast, who played a starring role in Mayo’s All-Ireland winning team of 1951, proudly displays his All-Ireland medal. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Tributes have been pouring in from all over the country for the respected former garda who has been described as a "gentleman."

Mr Prendergast’s friend Sean Lyons, also a Mayo man living in Kerry, told Midwest Radio: “When someone like that passes, something really special goes out of everyone’s lives. ‘Gentleman’ is the word most people would think of when it comes to Paddy P, as everybody knew him.

“He was held in such respect by everybody in Mayo, but in Kerry as well. Everywhere he went, Paddy Prendergast brought something special with him. It’s a sad, sad day.”

Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae expressed his condolences, writing: "My sincere sympathies to all the Prendergast family on your loss" on RIP.ie.

Education Minister Norma Foley, who is from Tralee, also paid tribute, writing: "Sincere sympathy to Mrs. Prendergast, Petra, Siobhan and Mark at this very sad time. May Paddy rest in eternal peace."

Mayo councillor for Castlebar, Michael Kilcoyne wrote: "Sincere sympathy to the Prendergast and Mellotte families on the passing of Paddy, a true Mayo legend. May he rest in peace."

A Mayo GAA fan added: "Very sad to hear this news. Sincerest sympathy to you all. May the fond memories you have of Paddy comfort you in the days and months ahead. A very special man. God Bless."

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