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The GAA World Has Rightly Been Paying Tribute To Paddy Christie

The GAA World Has Rightly Been Paying Tribute To Paddy Christie

Sorcha Glackin's Passing It On is much more than your run-of-the-mill sports documentary. As the terrific Patrick Freyne put it in his review for The Irish Times: "This is really about how young people need a place to belong and someone to champion them."

Those young people were the Ballymun kids of the late 1990s and that champion was Paddy Christie.

Having aired previously on EirSport, Passing It On captured audiences once again thanks to its RTÉ airing on Thursday night. It tells the tale of Ballymun Kickhams GAA club and some of the wonderful people who have played their part in its growth across the decades. People like Val Andrews, Tom O'Donoghue and, of course, Mr Christie.

It was part documentary, part Irish version of The Mighty Ducks. With the club struggling in the 90s, their All-Star full-back decided to help out with the u10s team. They then became the u11s team, the u12s team and on it went, with Paddy at the helm the whole way through.

He was the young lads' Gordon Bombay. Sure, he was as good as anyone at helping them work on their passing, their shooting and all that malarkey, but his real achievement was helping them blossom as young men. Whether they were from Ballymun or down the road in Glasnevin, Paddy helped them create a bond that has lasted over 20s years. They were called scumbags by adults, they were written off as no-hopers but with Paddy's guidance they rose above it and great days came.

It brought them huge success on the field and for many it changed their life off it as well.

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Unsurprisingly, Paddy's name was on the lips of many intrigued GAA fans from all around Ireland following the film's airing:

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The primary school principal coached DCU to a Sigerson Cup title earlier this year with one of this earliest protégés, Davey Byrne, by his side on the line.

See Also: 10 Club GAA Games Worth Streaming This Weekend

Mark Farrelly
Article written by
Balls Media Audience Development Manager. Former Miss World 1997 contestant.

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