Weeshie's Week

Reviews of 'My Beautiful Obsession - Chasing the Kerry Dream'

November 18th, 2012
by Weeshie Fogarty

Reviews of the book by some of Weeshie's fans.
Loving the book, here are a few of my highlights both happy and sad: really enjoyed reading your radio days even though I missed the beginning of your broadcasting career (wasn't aware of Radio Kerry till around 2003).  Since I discovered the station I can say hand on heart it has been life changing for me as an exile.
Words fail me Weeshie of Geni's calmness on the phone as he gave you the tragic news of Karen, RIP to both, and reading from there on the sadness of a life cut far too short to endure.  The most poignant part of all for me was your poem dedicated to your special niece Karen.  Beautiful words in her memory by Bishop Bill at the dedication of the hall, the Muckross community are wonderful.  Touched too by Geni and Maureen christening the boat in Karen's name and Clare and Susan being first to row in it.  The trophy sounds beautiful and special that the first win was for Muckross and Susan was in the winning crew, I feel Karen was smiling down on them and inspiring one and all.
As I read about your beloved brothers Geni and Dermie and your lovely sister-in-law Tessie it is also touching, RIP to all.  Poignant reading about Steve Davies visiting Dermie and his words about the beauty of the Killarney lakes, a wonderful gesture from Steve and also from Connie O'Sullivan and Sean McMonagle.  A special memory for you Weeshie knowing how much it meant to Dermie and not forgetting Jimmy too.  RIP to all.  Special of Jimmy taking you to your first match at Old Trafford.  Weeshie, this touches my heart as an exile, Jimmy's poignant words to you about his soul passing through Killarney, these words stay with me.  I too hope it will be the same for me.  Not forgetting your dear mother and father and Kathleen Ann, RIP.  Your loving words about your dear sister (I can remember her in old New Street).  All the bereavements your mother bore, I can see the consolation and strength you get from her memory and faith.  Moving words too about your lovely sister Sheila in Birmingham (who I also remember). Your family is blessed having you with the courage and strength you show, not rocket science to guess it must have taken its toll on your life.  However broad one's shoulders are you bear it with dignity.
What generosity of spirit Brendan Galvin and Daniel McGillicuddy have keeping the memory of Eamon Fitzgerald alive.  Lovely words from Bob about Eamon, a gentleman and of course not forgetting Lady Albina Broderick RIP.  Weeshie, another remarkable occurrence in connection with your book.  Just before I started to read it, Aunt Sally, RIP, bought me a special small marble plaque which I just moved to my bedroom wall and guess what, it is the Good Shepherd, a few seconds later I then read the piece about Eamon Fitzgerald's Mass at the Church of the Good Shepherd!  Another wonderful gesture from many good people for the rededication but most of all to you Weeshie starting it all off.
Reading about Liam Higgins, RIP, words fail me about this wondrous man.  Have special memories of the day at Croke Park hearing you both on that day of days, Johnny Culloty's words to the sideline reporter were very moving and to follow you Weeshie calling Liam man of the match.
Ronnie Delaney's advice to you I can concur with as a keen listener and lover of radio, well said.  More importantly well presented by your good self!
Lovely to read your choice of your favourite 15 Kerry footballers (some familiar names to me), what great names too, we are blessed in Kerry.   Well done Weeshie, remembering all the great sports people other than footballers, again some familiar names, have happy memories too of hearing some of the folk on your top programmes Terrace Talk and In Conversation.

This is bursting through the pages Weeshie, your passion for the 1969 All Ireland final. Agree with you 100% about the difference in the journalism of 1969 compared to today, less is more in my opinion. More exciting times. They had their priorities right in those days!  On the other hand the build up today (schools, pubs etc) is excellent.  Love John B. Keane's gossamer lunacy quote, what a man he was RIP. This is special the flags on my beloved cathedral, what a sight that must have been!!  The lady with the painted nails on match day - seem to remember that she was Stephen O'Mahoney's mother - happy memories of your banter when he was doing sound on Terrace Talk.  Like your description of the training, the scene well captured.  As you mention the brass band have fond memories of Fox, RIP, proudly marching by their side.  Well said Weeshie about the way the game was played compared to now.

Relating to your football career that was a terrible eye injury Weeshie (uncivilised). Thank God the end result was not more serious, however the Man above opened a new door for you - refereeing.  A beautiful inscription on Paddy Kennedy's headstone, as I glance at the treasured picture of Paddy and Fox etc on the wall. Touched by Mick O'Connell rising early, driving to Dublin, walking down the aisle to sympathise with Paddy's family.  Moved by Annie Hegarty's memories of Phil O'Sullivan and also the headstone in New York paid for by the Tuosist club.
Your recollections of your time at St Finan's.  The story of the two patients is too sad for words.  What I can say is they were blessed with your care.  Impressed with the kindness, for example heating the food that had to be taken to the more disturbed patients, very sensitive.  During your night duty I bet your chat with the patients did them more good than their medication.  When you stood at the hospital window overlooking Killarney town your vivid description as it went to sleep and awoke, I feel I am looking at it now. A very moving account of life at St Finan's and a poignant ending to the chapter.
~ Phil
Hanna Buckley, Sr. Vianney is my aunt and I have just read your book and and what an amazing memoir of life in Kerry in the 40' and 50's. I was aware of my grandfather Thady Jeremiah Buckley's letter to Hanna and it brought tears to my eyes to see it recorded for posterity in your wonderful book. Hanna has an amazing life reportoire and there is nobody better at a sing song whenever there is gathering of family or friends. She definitely got that from her father.

I am aware of your correspondence with Hanna and it is fantastic that some one like yourself has been able to distill her memories and put them into print. Despite her age Hanna never misses a match in Croke Park during her summer sojourn in Ireland. I will never forget a few yrs ago when Kerry were playing Dublin in semi-final. We happened to be sitting near Bertie Ahern and she regaled the then Taoiseach with her stories all during the game, bring back several painful memories for Bertie of great Kerry victories. If there is a more avid Kerry supporter I have yet to meet them. Gaelic Football is as much a religion to her as her vocation. I want to congratulate you on your wonderful account of Kerry life and I am sure it will go down as one of greatest stories of life in the Kingdom in the middle of the 20th Century.
~ Barbara Finlay
My name is Cathal Nolan from the well known village of Rhode in Co Offaly. I recently purchased your latest book "My Beautiful Obsession; Chasing the Kerry dream" and would like to pass on my congratulations to you on what is without a doubt one of the most insightful and rewarding insights into the magic that is Kerry football.

In 2008 I attended my first Kerry senior football game, the All Ireland semi final against Cork and ever since that day i have become a fanatical Kerry football supporter although I have no family connection to the Kingdom at all. I have rarely missed a league or championship match since 2008 and neither have my parents who I've converted to become fanatics of Kerry also. For me nothing beats the feeling of passing Knocknagoshel and seeing the finest view in Ireland that is the first view the Kerry mountains and villages from above Castleisland. This sight is only equaled by the view from the Lewis Road terrace in Fitzgerald Stadium on Munster final afternoon. It's this magic that each year brings me the three and a half hour journey from Offaly to see the Kingdom's footballers.

Your latest book captures for me the same magic which converted me in the Cusack Stand in Croke Park on that August afternoon. I wish you all the best with your latest book and Im sure it will be a major success. All the best Weeshie from the biggest fanatic outside the boundaries of the mighty kingdom!
~ Cathal Nolan
I got your book during the week and as I flicked through it I stopped to read the chapter about Karen but as I read through the chapter I had to stop. I found it very powerful and overwhelming. I attended Karens funeral Mass in the Cathedral and like most people there I shed a tear for Karen and Geni and Maureen. And your writing brought back the awfullness of Karens death to me - it cast a gloom over the town for ages afterwards. While I never knew Karen personally, I knew about her from my late boss Tim Moore whose girls were friendly with Karen - Tim spoke very highly of her. I knew Geni well from the boat trips on the lake - he was a great host, very helpful and informative.
Anyway I wish you the best of good fortune with the book.

Radio Kerry - The Voice of the Kingdom