The late John Curtin, Sandville, Castleisland

The late John Curtin, Sandville, Castleisland. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The death has occurred of John Curtin, (79) Sandville, Castleisland, Co. Kerry on July 14th 2018. Peacefully, after a short illness at Cork University Hospital.

Beloved husband of the late Betty and brother of the late Mick (Sonny) and Ann.

Sadly missed by his loving sons: Michael, Derry, Shane and Kevin, sisters Mary, Agnes, Teresa and Joan, all extended family, relatives, neighbours and many friends. May He Rest In Peace.

Quiet Dandy V Swanky Pa

There was a time when the heroic rivalry between the Castleisland based Quiet Dandy and his great Tarbert rival, Swanky Pa was the talk of doggy men and women in these parts and, no doubt, throughout North Kerry and further afield.

It was the coursing equivalent of Arkle V Millhouse or Borg V McEnroe or Ali V Frazier and it all centred around the time Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.

The great courses between the John Curtin owned, Michael Murphy trained, Quiet Dandy and John Prendiville’s Swanky Pa were run off on fields in places like Lixnaw and Millstreet and on the sacred sod of Clonmel itself.

Doggy History to Unravel

The complexity of the fact that the two dogs were related is for the historians of the sport to unravel.

I heard a discussion one evening in Sheila Prendiville’s about great doggie victories in the late 1960s and those labelled as local owners and part-time trainers.

All the big boys of the game were in there and John Curtin’s great days with Quiet Dandy were mentioned. Also recalled were lesser known big days in the coursing careers of locals like: Jimmy Kearney, publican; Dan Kearney of College Road and of Willie O’Connell of Tullig. Roger O’Rahilly, Knockeen, Mossie Jones of Cordal, Noel Browne, Michael Murphy, Castleisland and their dogs were all rolled off in the course of the discussion.

All the Major Honours

As a local of The Poet’s Inn, proprietor, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell remembers John Curtin as a great character and a very knowledgeable doggy man.

“He was extremely honest and had a great interest in all sports and he knew his stuff when it came to the dogs,” said Bobby.

“You just have to look at the fact that he won all the major honours the sport had to offer in his time.

Turned to Training

“He won the dog of the year award with Quiet Dandy in 1970 and he turned to training and later trained for Timmy Nolan.

“Castleisland is steeped in the history of coursing and, among the great dogs and great men, John Curtin is a giant.

“Even in business, John Curtin was well up on what was going on. He set up the Killarney Road based Kingdom Oil business with the late Anthony Cronin and it was a great success from the start,” said Cllr. O’Connell.

May God be good to him.

Funeral Arrangements

Reposing at Tangney’s Funeral Home, Castleisland, on Monday evening from 5pm to 7pm, followed by removal to Castleisland Parish Church. Requiem Mass on Tuesday at 11am.

Burial afterwards in St. John’s Cemetery, Castleisland.

Date Published: Sunday 15th July 2018. Date of Death: Saturday 14th July 2018.

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