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Watch: Heart-warming moment Patrick Kielty is surprised by 1987 Down GAA teammates



However, the Dundrum native could not hide his shock when his former inter-county teammates made a surprise appearance on Friday night’s special GAA-focused episode.

Kielty was the substitute goalkeeper for the Down minor football team that won the All-Ireland back in 1987; a fun fact he brought up a few times during last night’s show.

But, the popular presenter could never have guessed that the men from that same team – including his own sibling – would pop up on the RTÉ set to say hello.

The 53-year-old was visibly emotional at the unexpected reunion, even excitedly pointing out his own brother standing behind him, as he exclaimed: “That’s our John!”

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The moment was made all the more poignant when one of his teammates mentioned how proud Kielty’s father Jack was when they won that All-Ireland, almost four decades ago.

“We were all talking earlier. We remembered the first person all of us saw when we came off the pitch that day in the tunnel was big Jack from a seat in the Hogan stand,” they recalled.

“Tears of joy tripping him, he was the happiest man in Ireland and he told each and every one of us how proud he was of all of us – not just you two boys – but the whole lot. So we’ll have a brandy for Jack later on tonight.”

Jack Kielty, who worked as a building contractor, was murdered at the age of 45 in 1988 by loyalist paramilitaries.

Patrick Kielty was only 16 at the time.

“I can’t believe you got me,” Kielty then responded to his ex-teammates.

“I have to say, he [Jack] might have been the proudest man in Ireland, but I’m the proudest man in Ireland to be here tonight on this stage with you guys.

“Thank you so much for coming in.”

Friday night marked The Late Late Show’s first ever GAA special, and included with another athlete from Kielty’s home county Down.

The episode opened with Charlie Smyth, the young gun from Mayobridge, who spoke about how he went from a Gaelic football goalkeeper to an NFL kicker.

Smyth is the first intercounty player to join the NFL (the USA’s National Football League), becoming part of the New Orleans Saints team last week.

A primary school teacher, trained in Irish medium education, the 23-year-old is also the first Irish speaker to join an NFL side.

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