Greg Naughton - An Appreciation
By Brendan McGlynn
The news of the tragic and untimely death of Greg Naughton, on the 20th January 2011 was greeted with a sense of extreme shock and sadness, within the community. Greg was the fourth eldest of a family of seven children, born to Mary and Ven Naughton, Balally Avenue.
Greg was a true gentleman, who was always looking out for others, always ready to help a friend or anybody who was in need. He had a very pleasant and talkative manner, wore a ready smile and had no difficulty in developing friendships. He was a big kid at heart and liked nothing better than spending time with his nieces and nephews. Children instantly warmed to him and he always had the energy and the time to make them laugh. He had a deep love of animals as well, in particular Belle his treasured Greyhound.
Greg attended St Olaf’s Primary School and St Benildus Secondary School. He loved sports, an avid Arsenal and rugby fan. He played every sport that was offered, a rugby man in St. Benildus, before it was fashionable, a full-back with plenty of skill. He played football, hurling and soccer most of his life, a forward for Olaf’s and a goalkeeper for any soccer team that would have him. He was a member of the first Adult Hurling Team to win a trophy for the club, when the Junior Hurling Team won the Fletcher Shield in 1993. Greg was delighted and very proud of the fact that he had received a cap for once representing Ireland, in soccer, with the Army in a representative game against France.
Greg was extremely proud of his military service. He was a Signalman (Radio Operator) in the Communication Service Corps, of the Irish Defence Forces, a serving member since December 1996. He was originally posted to 2nd Infantry Battalion, before becoming a specialist in Radio and Communications and joining the 2 Field CIS Company in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines. Greg’s time in the Army saw him work all over the country and indeed the world. He had a significant amount of overseas service to his name. He had been on peacekeeping missions in Lebanon (UNFIL), Liberia (UNMIL, twice), East Timor (UNTAET) and Chad (EUFOR Chad) and was awarded the Peacekeepers Medal in respect of his service with the United Nations Mission. In 2007 he received the Military Service Medal (for ten year’s service).
At his funeral mass on the 24th January 2011, the Naomh Olaf under 15 Football Team Greg had helped to train to win the Dublin Football Féile last year, formed a Guard of Honour.
Karl the youngest member of the Naughton Family delivered the Eulogy. It was a comprehensive review of Greg’s life delivered with deep affection and good humour. It told of his great love of life, of his family, and of his girlfriend Sheila, whom he adored.