Comedian Kielty is all fired up to become Ďa GAA godí
by Tony Tighe
Tir Chonaill Gaels have unveiled Irish comedian Patrick Kielty as their manager for next month’s Celebrity Bainisteoir special, and he is intent on helping the county champions have a Christmas they’ll never forget.
The 37-year-old will coach the Greenford club ahead of next month’s meeting with series winners Maryland, which will be televised on TG4 on Christmas Day. Kielty was approached by friend Darren Smith, who is involved in the show and he admits he’s relishing the opportunity.
Kielty told the Irish Post: “Darren rang me up and said: ‘you used to play a bit of GAA, you’re living in London, fancy getting involved in this. I was assured I’d be a GAA god after this so I said no problem!”
“I played a bit when I was younger. I was actually a sub on the Down minor team that won the All-Ireland in 1987. I haven’t done anything in years though, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Kielty, who has presented television shows such as Fame Academy and Love Island will come up against a fellow star of the small screen, Marty Whelan. The RTE star guided the Westmeath club to victory in June this year, but Kielty is intent on ending his winning streak.
“We’re going to get stuck in and get at them,” he stated. “The one thing we don’t want to do is go back over there and be viewed as just another London team, making up the numbers. It’s great that a team from London is getting a shot at it, and the lads seem keen. We’ll see what happens.”
The fixture gives Tir Chonaill Gaels some welcome publicity but it will serve as ideal preparation for their All-Ireland club quarter-final in January. With the season dying down for the winter months and any remaining games in constant doubt due to bad weather and unplayable pitches, this will keep the Gaels ticking over.
“It’s going to be a great help for us because there aren’t that many games in London at this time of year,” said manager Paul Coggins, whose side will face either Galway’s Corofin or Eastern Harps of Sligo. “Patrick seems to know his football and has played at a high level, so it’s all positive. He’s very keen and wants to win the game. The players are all excited and there’s been a great reaction. It’s all positive for the whole structure of our club, from underage level all the way up to senior.”