LOUTH GAA captain Paddy Keenan added to his ever growing list of personal honours on Wednesday night when he was awarded a civic reception by the county council.
The influential midfielder was given the honour for his achievements in earning the county’s first ever All Star award last season and his call-up to the Ireland team for the International Rules series.
Welcoming the 26-year-old to County Hall, County Council chairman Peter Savage said that civic receptions were not something that were “afforded lightly”, pointing out that in over 30 years on the council that he could only remember seven.
Cllr Savage said though that there was “unanimous feeling” to bestow such an honour on a man who “brought distinction to his family, club and county.”
Amongst the councillors to pay tribute to Paddy was his local representative, Jim Loughran, who said he had watched the St Patrick’s clubman play from U-10 level upwards, adding that he was a “class act on and off the field” right through.
Cllr Loughran added: “He is a credit to his family, his club and his county and I wish him all the best in the future.”
General Election candidate Cllr Declan Breathnach said he had broken off canvassing to come to the event but wished he could use Paddy Keenan’s name at times when he called to doors such was the man’s popularity.
He said he had nothing but the “highest praise” for Keenan and described him as “exceptional.”
Cllr Jim Ryan revealed that he was a distant relation of Keenan’s “40 times removed” and described him as a “fabulous player who brought a lot of credit to his family and Louth.”
He added that Paddy was “a chip off the old block because his mum and dad are two beautiful people.”
He concluded by challenge the Louth captain to better himself in the years to come by saying: “After the honours you’ve had the next place for you to go is for the Footballer of the Year award and I’ll be looking to you to do that in the next couple of years.”
Finally, Cllr Terry Brennan described the decision to award Keenan a civic reception as “unanimous” and, like his colleagues, praised the young man for his personality and talent both on and off the field.
He added: “I was at his presentation in the Pat’s after he got his All Star and I’m not sure who told me that he trained on Christmas Day but what I will say is that anyone who would do that then it’s right that he should achieve what he has.
“This is an honour richly deserved and Paddy should be an example to all,” he said.