Castlehaven club pays tribute to Padraig Burke who guided them to senior glory

Castlehaven club pays tribute to Padraig Burke who guided them to senior glory
The Castlehaven panel before they defeated the Barrs in 1989.

THERE was great sadness in Castlehaven GAA circles recently when their esteemed former player, captain and trainer Padraig Burke passed away.

The legendary Haven figure enjoyed a very successful career with his beloved club. The stylish wing-back captained Castlehaven to intermediate county final glory in 1978. Following his retirement, Padraig seamlessly moved into management.

He guided their senior footballers to county final glory for the first time in their history in 1989 after they defeated St Finbarr’s. Padraig was also a selector when Castlehaven won their third senior county title in 2003.

Castlehaven stalwart Niall Cahalane has great memories of both playing with and under the stewardship of the legendary figure.

“He was a great player and coach. He was a huge figure within the club. He was involved with so many different generations. Everyone had so much respect for him.

“He trained me to win an U16 county title and he was still involved training underage teams in recent years. He coached the U21 team to two county final wins before he moved on to the senior team with whom he also enjoyed great success. He had a great love, knowledge and passion for the game and Castlehaven GAA Club.”

Castlehaven management Darren Fitzpatrick, Fr Charles Sweeney, James McCarthy, Padraig Burke and Dr Christian Jost. Picture: Richard Mills.
Castlehaven management Darren Fitzpatrick, Fr Charles Sweeney, James McCarthy, Padraig Burke and Dr Christian Jost. Picture: Richard Mills.

Cahalane credits the late Padraig with a huge influence on his brilliant playing career.

“I adored the ground he walked on. He was a huge influence on my career. He was my go to guy.

“He was exceptionally calculated. He had a great ability to get top class players to play to their full potential. He also got marginal guys to play way above themselves.

“He was well ahead of his time. Players had great belief in his methods. He had a great way about him and got 30 players to buy into his plans.

“They believed in him and it worked. His man management skills were second to none. Players were mad about him. He had a real presence.”

Padraig trained the Castlehaven senior footballers to senior county final glory in 1989, which represented a huge breakthrough for the famed club.

“He was a huge factor in our first senior county win. He had the midas touch. He also came in for a few weeks before the replayed 1994 county final. He gave us a huge lift.”

A reunion of the Haven teams from 1989 and 1994.
A reunion of the Haven teams from 1989 and 1994.

He will miss his late friend immeasurably.

“He was one of the best friends I had. He was a genuine and great friend. We caught up three or four times every week. He was so well regarded within our community. He is a huge loss to his family and the area.”

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