The Club

Memorial

Our roots at Naomh Olaf GAA Club make us what we are today.  From the foundation of the club, many people have given their time, energy and expertise both on and off the field to grow the club just as our current members continue to do today.  Unfortunately, along the way we have lost some of our great leaders, many of them far too early.  In this, our memorial page, we acknowledge and remember those who are unfortunately no longer with us.  May the rest in peace.

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. 

Mark Smyth - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

The tragic and untimely death of Mark Smith in a drowning accident in Thailand on the 13th  September 04 came as a great shock to those privileged to know him. Mark who was only twenty years of age was the only son of John and Catherine Smith of Annaville Park Dundrum. The Smith family also have a younger daughter Tara.

Death is always sad, but when it strikes at one who is an only son, in excellent health and an exceptionally talented individual, it is particularly poignant. Mark had attended St Olaf’s primary school, as his family lived in Balally Grove at the time. He also attended Oatlands secondary school. Having completed his formal education, he commenced work in his father’s business. After about one year he became self-employed in the I.T. industry. 

Mark played football with Naomh Olaf GAA Club. He was an exceptionally good player and won division one leagues with the Club. He was selected on a Dublin under fourteen development squad and went on to represent Dublin on under fourteen, fifteen and sixteen football teams. 

Mark developed an interest in Karting when he was eleven years of age. His interest in this sport grew and he became All-Ireland Senior “A” Karting champion in 2001. That same year he also won the Ulster Karting Cup Club Championships, the Irish Club Championships, as well as the I.R.L. Plate and also the “O” Plate. He represented Ireland in the Inter-Nations team events on three occasions. Because of his interest and success in Karting, he was unable to concentrate on his football for a couple of years but he was back playing well for the Club before his death. 

While on holidays in Thailand with some friends, Mark was enjoying White Water Rafting when he was accidentally drowned. There was a large and representative attendance at his funeral Mass in Holy Cross Church Dundrum. Naomh Olaf GAA Club provided a Guard of Honour. Following his burial in Shanganagh Cemetery his family invited everybody to a reception in Naomh Olaf GAA Club. With Marks passing his family has lost a treasured member and Naomh Olaf GAA Club has lost one of its brightest prospects. 

Barry O'Brien - An Appreciation (By Chris O'Grady)

News of Barry O'Brien's tragic death in a diving accident in Achill reached me on Hill 16 some minutes before the start of the Dublin v Donegal match. At the back of the Hill after the match scores of Naomh Olaf members gathered as the news spread and the shock and pain completely shut out the joy of seeing Dublin's great win. It was a scene of devestated young people. The loss of a young man who was admired by so many and the thought that his family were now suffering the incalculable loss of a family member for the second time in two months numbed us all.

It is impossible to speak about Barry without being emotional. Barry was a man of unparalleled enthusiasm and passion for any activity he was involved in. This passion was evidenced in the way he applied himself and gave his all down through the years for school, club, college and county in football and more especially in hurling. For us, at Naomh Olaf his unique hair-raising roar of "C'mon Olafs" was a trademark call that would shake any of his hurling or football mates out of their complacency. On the field, he gave his last ounce of energy whether the match was championship, league, cup or challenge. Barry did not believe in half measures. Never cowardly, never mean, he personified all that is best in the GAA. His infectious enthusiasm and passion, together with his absolute commitment to fair play, marked him out always as a man of honesty and integrity. These qualities were recognized and recounted by the numerous colleagues, friends and admirers who have paid generous tribute to Barry via the Dublin GAA Official website. 

His contribution to Naomh Olaf GAA Club was enormous and I can honestly say that no other person of his age has ever contributed as much as Barry has. As a juvenile and minor as well as playing for his own age group he also played for teams well above his age on a very regular basis. Despite the fact that he was in college in the University of Limerick, with whom he won a Fitzgibbon medal this year, he travelled home weekends and even on weekdays to play for his club. He never once complained of burnout, even though he was involved in an incredible number of teams at club, college and county level. Barry played on through the pain barrier many times and paid no attention or sought no sympathy for bloodied knuckles or any other serious injury. 

At twenty years of age, Barry was coach of the Naomh Olaf hurling team which won the Dublin Féile na nÓg competition and went on to perform so well at the national finals in Cork. Barry's devotion to those young hurlers was a joy to behold and they would stand on their heads for Barry if he were to ask them. A few weeks ago Barry ran what were excellently organised, and for the children most enjoyable, summer camps in hurling and football. These children were privileged to have such a brilliant coach as Barry to brighten those first few weeks of their holidays. There seemed to be no limit to his willingness to give his time, his energy and his talents. If it's true that there's more joy in giving than receiving Barry must have been the happiest soul on earth

Brian Egan - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

The tragic and untimely death of 17-year-old Brian Egan, eldest son of Jim and Catherine Egan, of  Wesley Lawns, on Wednesday 2nd February 2000, numbed and saddened the community. A handsome final year student in St Benildus College, he was due to sit his Leaving Cert exams later this year. Brian enjoyed the blessing of being brought up in a stable and loving family environment. He had two older sisters, Andrea and Karen and two younger brothers, Sean and Joey. He had many friends of his own age group. Brian enjoyed outdoor life and was an outstanding hurler. He won the under-15 hurler of the year award with Naomh Olaf GAA Club in 1998. On the 19th November, last Brian was presented with his last club trophy for assisting the under-21 hurling team of 1999 win division two of the league. He also starred in hurling with St Benildus College winning a Dublin Colleges B final in 1999.

Brian's remains were removed from Fanagan's Funeral Home in Dundrum to the Church of the Ascension of the Lord Balally on Friday 4th February. As the remains arrived at the church leaving cert students of St Benildus College, dressed in their neat uniforms, together with his hurling teammates from Naomh Olaf GAA Club, formed a guard of honour. As the coffin draped in the Naomh Olaf club flag was slowly carried by Brian's teenage friends into the church, I have never witnessed such an outpouring of grief by so many young people, many of whom wept openly. 

Fr. Brian Edwards, who received the remains preached a very simple and moving homily. The Chaplain of St. Benildus College, Fr. Martin Daly, together with teachers and pupils of St Benildus college, including the principal, Mr. Sean Mulvihill, performed Readings and Prayers of the Faithful. The Funeral Mass on Saturday morning was concelebrated by Fr. Edwards, Fr. Daly and Fr. Ger Ahern, Chaplain of Carlow Institute of Technology. Fr. Edwards again preached the homily. The choir of St Olafs N.S. conducted by Mr. Alex Hughes, sang during the Mass accompanied by Josephine Boyle, the organist. The Readings and Prayers of the Faithful were read by family members including Brian's two grandmothers. Brians hurling teammates from the club again formed a guard of honour as the remains were removed from the Church on the way to Glasnevin Cemetery for cremation. On the 12th February, Brian's ashes were buried in a family plot in Donaghmore, Portlaoise. 

Following the removal of the remains and also following the cremation the Egan family invited all those present, many of whom had travelled from the country, to Naomh Olaf GAA Club where refreshments were provided 

Christopher O'Shea - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

The death took place in St Vincent’s Hospital on 11th September ’08 of Christopher O’Shea, Clonard  Drive. Aged 59 years, he died peacefully surrounded by his wife and family following a short illness. An accountant by profession, he was employed by Musgrave Cash & Carry in Cork until he was transferred to Dublin in 1987. It was then he came to live in Clonard with his wife Bernadette and their five children. Christopher had attended the Presentation Brothers College in Cork where he played rugby. He won a junior Cup in 1965 and a Senior Cup in 1966. He played club rugby with Sundays Well.

Having come to Dublin he soon became a life-long and valued member of Naomh Olaf GAA Club. He was probably best known locally for his love of dogs, and he could be seen regularly walking them in Ballawley Park. He was very proud of the fact that one of his Cavalier King Charles Spaniels became an Irish Champion and was shown in Crufts. Christopher’s children are now mature and successful adults. His son James, who played for Naomh Olaf GAA club for a number of years is now married and lives in Naas with his wife and two children. His daughter Ruth is married to Aengus Hughes. They live in Sandyford Downs with their six-month-old son Harry. Pat is married and he and his wife and son Caleb live in Belfast. Christopher Jnr.who also played for Naomh Olaf GAA Club, is engaged to be married in May ’09, while Rebecca is a district nurse now living in Kiltipper. There was a large representative attendance at Christopher’s funeral Mass in the Church of the Ascension of the Lord Balally. His remains were taken to Mount Jerome where a cremation ceremony was held. Later his ashes were buried in the cremation plot in Kilmashogue. May his gentle soul rest in peace. To his wife Bernadette, family and friends, we extend our sincere sympathy. 

Tom Dunford - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

The news of the untimely death of Tom Dunford at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Elm Park, on the  8th November 2009 following a short illness, borne with great dignity, courage and humour, was greeted with a sense of extreme loss and sadness by those privileged to know him. Tom, who was only fifty years of age, was a son of Stephen and Bernie Dunford of Castlebar Co Mayo and was the third eldest of a family of five, four boys and one girl.

Having completed his primary education, Tom received his secondary education at St Gerard’s Secondary school. He went on to study computer programming in the RTC in Galway. He subsequently obtained employment with the Ulster Bank, in Glenamaddy where he worked for six years. He then became a long distance truck driver and had a number of other occupations before entering the Civil Service where he was employed in the Revenue Department, until the time of his death. His brother John in a eulogy at the funeral Mass said in reference to Tom’s many employments, that it was ironic that he should end up in the Civil Service where his mother had wished him to be in the first place. 

Tom married Eithne Dunne of Killucan Co Westmeath in 1985 and since April 1986 they have lived happily in their home in Clonard Park, Dundrum. Their marriage was blessed with two sons Josh and Luke now aged twenty three and nineteen years respectively. 

Tom was a very jovial and light hearted character with a pleasant and easy manner who had a great love of music as well as the outdoor life. He was very well known. He was a valued and much loved member of Naomh Olaf GAA Club and served as a team mentor for a number of years. He was fond of hiking and hill walking and was almost invariably accompanied by some member or members of his family. 

He had a passion for blues music. In his early years he played the thin whistle and the piano but later took up the harmonica. He was also a lovely singer. He took great pleasure playing and singing with his own blues band “Lightnin T and the Thunder Bolts” and he sometimes played and sang with other groups. 

Tom was a man of sound Christian values who displayed love and affection towards his wife and family. His parting has left heart felt pain that will only ease with the passage of time. He will be remembered with fondness and respect by all who knew him. It is well to remember that those we hold dear never truly leave us, they will live on in the kindness they showed, the comfort they shared and the love they brought into our lives. 

Tom’s remains were reposing at Peter Massey’s Funeral Home, Balally on Monday the 9th November 09 until 12:30 pm on Tuesday the 10th November 09. The removal took place from his home in Clonard Park, to the Church of the Ascension of our Lord, Balally at 4:45pm on same date, arriving at the church at 5pm. Members of Naomh Olaf GAA Club formed a Guard of Honour as the coffin draped in the Naomh Olaf GAA Club flag was received into the church and also as it exited the church the following day. The church was packed to capacity for the removal as well as for the funeral Mass. It was a testimony to the esteem in which Tom was rightly held. The celebrant of the Mass was Tom’s brother-in-law Father Vincent Dunne of Saint Patrick’s Missionary Society Kiltegan, ministering in Nairobi. Among the gifts offered during the offertory procession was a pair of Naomh Olaf Club shorts, a Mayo County jersey, a pair of shoes representing his band uniform, a harmonica and a hiking stick. 

The burial later took place in Kilmashogue cemetery. In a fitting tribute to Tom’s love of music the renowned musician Sharon Shannon played a couple of tunes at the graveside and she was ably accompanied by Richie Buckley. Following the burial the family invited their friends, many of whom had travelled long distances to a reception in Naomh Olaf GAA Club. 

Bill Stafford - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

The news of the sudden death of Bill Stafford in a road traffic accident in Clonard Lawns, Dundrum,  in the early hours of Sunday morning the 8th November, 09 was received with a great sense of shock and sadness by the entire community. Bill who was only twenty eight years of age, was the eldest son of Liam and Margaret Stafford of Wesley Heights, Dundrum and was one of a family of two boys and one girl. Death is always sad, but when it strikes at one in his prime, having a very promising future, it is particularly poignant. 

Bill attended Saint Olaf’s Primary School, where his mother Margaret was teaching and he received his secondary education in Coláiste Eoin. He subsequently attended the I.T. College in Tallaght where he studied Marketing and French. He was employed by Accenture and worked for Microsoft in Sandyford for the past five years. He was very committed to his work and had received a number of promotions to attain the position of Management Consultant. He was very proud of the fact that he was the founder member of a football league in his company that is still flourishing. Before the first game played, following his passing a minutes silence was observed in his honour. 

With his fiancée Liosa McNamara from Dunlaoghaire, Bill had been living happily in Ballyogan with their two children, Mary and Joe aged twelve and three years respectively. Bill was very devoted to his family and was a responsible and loving father. He was very close to his Mother and had been visiting her recently in Blackrock Clinic. He took his Son in there every Saturday and Sunday. He cycled to work and he also ran about five miles every evening. He exercised in Newpark Sports Centre regularly. He was preparing to run in the Connemara Half Marathon. He had played hurling and football for Naomh Olaf GAA Club up to minor level. In 1996 he was chosen as the club’s under fifteen Footballer of the Year. 

Bill’s remains were removed from his family home in Wesley Heights to the Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally for 11am Mass on Thursday 12th November 09. His youthful friends carried his coffin shoulder high for much of the journey. Despite driving wind and rain members of Naomh Olaf GAA Club formed a Guard of Honour as the remains were received into and later exited the church. The church itself was filled to over-flowing as a huge congregation of mainly young people, united in grief, came to pay their prayerful respect. 

Father Brendan Purcell, a friend of the family who was the chief celebrant of the Mass, said “Mr Stafford’s most enduring quality had been the manner in which he had taken responsibility for his two families, the one he was born into and his family with his fiancée Liosa. Bishop Brennan of Ferns another friend of the family who took part in the ceremony said, he hoped that the family find some comfort in the support of neighbours, relations and friends. During the service Bill’s sister Ruth read a beautiful poem selected for the occasion by her mother Margaret. Among the gifts offered during the offertory procession where a hurley, an Naomh Olaf goalie’s jersey and his son Joe offered his baby book. Following the Mass Bill’s remains where taken to Mount Jerome, Harold’s Cross, for cremation. The family invited everybody present to a reception afterwards in Naomh Olaf GAA club. 

Bill’s death has left a deep void in the lives of the bereaved which will only ease with the passage of time. To his fiancée Liosa and the couple’s two children Mary and Joseph, his father Liam, brother Eoin and sister Ruth, his mother Margaret who was gravely ill in hospital and unable to attend the funeral mass, we offer our sincere condolences. 

Brendan Curtin - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

The sudden and untimely death of Brendan Curtin at Tallaght Hospital on the 10th July, 09 came as a great shock to those privileged to know him. Brendan who was only thirty four years of age was the youngest member of John and Bernie Curtins family of four boys and three girls.

Death is always sad but when it strikes at one in his prime having such a promising future it is particularly poignant. Though Brendan’s life was relatively short he lived it to the full and had achieved much. 

When Brendan was born his family lived in Cappaghmore Estate in Clondalkin and he attended St. Joseph’s primary school there. As a juvenile he played Gaelic games with the Round towers Club. His family came to live in 15 Ardglass, off Sandyford Road, Dundrum in 1985 and Brendan attended Holy Cross National School in Dundrum. He attended St. Benildus Secondary School. Having secured a degree from U.C.D he subsequently studied and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He took up employment with KPMG and he also worked for O2, before moving to Meteor, where he was employed at the time of his death. Brendan married Gwendolyn Marks form Cooley Co. Louth in December 2006 and they lived in Naas, Co. Kildare having purchased a home there. 

Having come to live in Ardglas Brendan transferred to Naomh Olaf GAA Club where he became valued and much loved member. He made a major contribution to the club, as a player, team mentor, Senior Committee Member and Club treasurer. While employed by O2 he secured valuable sponsorship from his company for the Naomh Olaf Senior Football team.As a mark of respect to Brendan all Naomh Olaf GAA fixtures were called off on the weekend of his death. 

Brendan was a man of honesty and integrity and this together with his exceptional good looks made him a an ideal choice to represent his Company KPMG as an independent observer of the National Lotto Draw live on RTE on many occasions. 

Brendan had many interests. He was an avid reader. He played Gaelic games and supported the Dubs. He supported the Munster and Leinster Rugby teams. He was a good cyclist and raised money on several occasions cycling for his favourite charity, the “Welcome Home Foundation”. If it’s true that there’s more joy in giving than in receiving then Brendan must have enjoyed a very happy life indeed. 

A person like Brendan with so many diverse interests made many friends, all of whom now have their own memories and stories.Many lives have been enriched by Brendan’s life, none more so than that of his wife and his family. His passing has left heartfelt pain which will only case with the passage of time. His funeral was a true reflection of the respect and affection in which he was held. A large number of people all united in grief travelled from far and wide to pay their prayful respects. 

Brendan’s funeral mass was celebrated in St. Conleth’s Church Newbridge on the 13th July 09. Members of Naomh Olaf GAA Club formed a guard of Honour as his coffin draped in the Naomh Olaf Club flag was received into the Church. Fr. Pat Hughes who was the celebrant is to be commended for his moving and meaningful imput to the funeral liturgy. Seán Curtin gave the Eulogy in which he described his brother Brendan as “a rare specimen, an accountant with a personality” Brendan’s burial took place afterwards in Cill Mhuire Cemetery, Templetown, Cooley, Co. Louth. 

It is not within the narrow limits of his brief appreciation, but rather in the hearts and memories of his beloved wife, family and friends that his many merits and virtues will be indelibly recorded. 

Sincere condolences are extended to his wife Gwendolyn and her family, to his mother and father John and Bernie, his brothers and sisters, Seán, David, Deirdre, Collette, Kevin and Bernie and to his many relations, neighbours and friends. 

Micheal Byrne - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

Micheál Byrne was born in Marlborough Street, Dublin in 1944 to Tom and Christine Byrne. He was  the youngest in a family of seven children five boys and two girls. His brother Laurence and his sisters Phyllis and Joan are now the only surviving members of the family. Micheál’s mother was a sister of Luke Kelly who was the father of Luke Kelly of the Dub liners. There was always music n the Byrne family and they were all lovely singers. Having finished his formal education, Micheál went to Waterford where he served his time and studied to be a refrigeration engineer with the Southern Refrigeration Company. Having qualified he came back to Dublin and worked for the same company in the North Strand for about ten years. Then he along with three others formed the Leinster Refrigeration Company, based in Dublin. Following fifteen years of successful trading Micheál trading Micheál went out on his own and continued to work in the refrigeration business for a number of years 

Micheál first met Nuala Doyle from Milltown at a dance in the Olympic Ballroom in 1961. They were married on the 2nd of January 1969 and came to live in their new home in Balally Hill. They were blessed with three sons, Michael, Niall and Robert. Micheál and Nuala soon became immersed in everything that was a force for good within the Community. 

Balally Youth Club was formed in 1968 and when their boys were old enough to participate in the various activities, Micheál and Nuala were always available to support and provide transport when necessary. Balally Scout Group was formed in 1977 and when they were building the Scout Den in 1983/1984 Nuala was their first treasurer which Micheál assisted, particularly with the plumbing of the premises. When Naomh Olaf GAA club was formed in 1981 Micheál and his family soon became involved. 

Michael, Niall and Robert played hurling and football with the Club, while Nuala served as Club secretary for a number of years. When the Club was fundraising for the purpose of building the clubhouse in 1991/1992 and when  none of the Financial Institutions would lend sufficient money to the club, Micheál was one of the fifty four club members who gave a one thousand pounds interest free loan for a number of years, so that work on the project could proceed. Micheál was always supportive of Nuala in her role as Committee Member of Balally Residence Association and as Treasurer and Secretary of St Olaf’s Ladies club. 

Michael, Niall and Robert are now mature and successful adults. They all attended St Olaf’s primary school and St Benildus secondary school. Michael and Robert played Gaelic, soccer and rugby there. They both played for the U18 Leinster Senior Soccer Squad. Michael won a four year soccer scholarship to UCD where he studied Commerce, while there he played League of Ireland Football with UCD. He then went to London where he studied and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. While there he played Gaelic football with the Tir Chonaill Gaels Club and he also played for London. On his return to Ireland in 1988 he played Senior Division 1 football with Naomh Olaf. He married Regina Harty from Tralee in 1999 and they now live in Newbridge. They have two children Katie and Cian who are 7 and 4 years respectively. Michael is the chief Executive Officer of ITG in the Financial Service Centre in Dublin. Niall won an all Ireland medal for Cross Country running with St Benildus College. He went on to study in the College of Catering in Cathal Brugha St. where he qualified in Hotel Management. He is now the assistant manger of the Tower Hotel in Waterford. He is due to marry Deirdre Hickey from Leixlip on the 6th February 2009. Robert played Senior Division 1 Football for Naomh Olaf. He was the most versatile player on the team. He studied Electrical Engineering in the College of Technology in Kevin Street. He is now the Service Manager with Ascension Lifts in Kimmage. He is married to Tara Fox from Wedgewood. They have one child named Jack who is 2 years old. 

Micheál Byrne was a quiet and inoffensive character who always enjoyed a celebration. His singing and performing of “Finnegan’s Wake” was one of the highlights of many a good party. Indeed it was for to celebrate Niall’s forthcoming wedding that his three sons took Micheál to New York on the 12th November 2008. He died suddenly but peacefully in his sleep there on Saturday the 15th November 2008. As a mark of respect a minutes silence was observed in Wedgewood the following day prior to a Senior Football League game between Naomh Olaf and Ballinger St Johns. Micheál’s remains were waked in his home that evening and the following day. On the 20th November his remains were removed from his home to the Church of the Ascension of the Lord Balally for the funeral mass at 12 mid-day. The Church was packed to capacity for what was a sad but beautiful occasion. As the remains were being taken into the Church, Jimmy and Paddy Kelly (Luke Kelly’s brothers) sang “The Voyage” and as the remains were leaving the church they sang “The Coolin”. The Chief celebrant of the mass was Fr. Colm McGlynn was is a friend of the family. He was assisted by Fr Philip Bradley. During the mass Lorraine Maguire sang while Teresa O’Donnell played the harp. Following the mass the coffin draped in the Naomh Olaf Club Flag was taken to Glencullen cemetery for burial. At the graveside Jimmy Kelly same “A Song for Ireland” and “The Parting Glass”. Everybody was invited for a meal in Naomh Olaf GAA Club afterwards. 

Mary O'Shea - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

Mary O’Shea was born in Castle Hackett, Belclare, Tuam, Co Galway. She was reared on the family  farm and was blessed with having a happy childhood. She was the eldest of a family of 9 children, four sisters and four brothers: Bridget, Kay, Nora, Margaret, Pat, Michael, Johnnie and James. Kay pre-deceased Mary less than two years ago. 

Mary came to work in Dublin in 1963. She brought with her the very best of what she had learned in her rural upbringing, to blend with the urban scene. She worked in Guinness and it was there that she first met Paddy O’Shea. They went out together in 1965 and were married in 1968, and moved into their new home in Balally. Their marriage was blessed with five children, two girls and three boys: Norah, Joan, James, John and Martin. Mary was a wonderful homemaker. Her dedication to her family was immense. She was a loving and caring wife to Paddy and an outstanding mother to her five children. The needs of her family and - in more recent times - her extended family, including her grandchildren, Sean, Lilly and Joley, were always her first priority and she loved them all very dearly. They will certainly miss her. 

It is not Mary’s family alone that is deeply saddened by her passing. The esteem and respect in which Mary was rightly held in the community where she lived was exceptional. This was reflected in the concern shown for her by so many during her long illness, in the number of people who visited her home where she was reposing, the removal from her home, her reception into the church in Galway, and her Funeral Mass. It was also reflected in the impressive turn out of Naomh Olaf GAA Club members who formed a guard of honour for Mary, as her remains were taken from her home, and accompanied the cortege on foot for some distance. 

I know Mary, Paddy and their family as good neighbours for many years but it was when I was managing an Under 10 football team, 24 years ago, on which their son John was playing, that I got to know the family well. When I made phone calls about matches or training at that time, it was usually the woman of the house that would answer the phone. I hadn’t rung Mary too often when she volunteered to wash the geansaithe and then to give transport. 

As a young mother, Mary was a member of the Ladies’ Club. She was always supportive of all worthwhile causes. It was when Naomh Olaf GAA Clubhouse was opened, in 1993, that Mary became immersed in the life of the club, firstly as Chairperson of the Social Committee, where she excelled. Together with my wife Patsy, they kept the clubhouse spotless for many years. They were involved in providing refreshments on all occasions. When our senior football team was playing, they provided toasted sandwiches for the team and for the opposition. Our senior team would have light training before travelling to championship games and Mary and Patsy would provide tea and toast before the team left and continued with their work to have more substantial refreshments ready on their return. They knew what every player on the panel liked. Some wanted no butter; others wanted no cheese while others still wanted no ham. 

In my opinion, Mary and Patsy were as vital to the development and success of Naomh Olaf GAA club in the ’90s, as Seán Purcell and Frankie Stockwell were to the success of the Galway football team in the ’50s. Mary was a constant presence in the clubhouse. She knew everybody, in what was, in those years, a packed clubhouse. And everybody knew and loved Mary. Her warm and friendly smile greeted everyone and ensured that they enjoyed socializing in the lounge, and she often provided a free taxi service to drop people home at the end of the night. For many years, Mary also helped out with the Club Lotto. 

Mary was soon a member of the Executive Committee. For years, she was responsible for the door roster. Mary would select suitable people for the job and very few would refuse Mary. Every one got a six-week roster. If someone could not attend, they would ring Mary who would soon have a replacement.  If they rang too often or if they failed to ring in such circumstances, they could subsequently find themselves on the subs’ bench. 

Mary had a special affinity with her native county. When her family was young, they spent most of their summer holidays there. She visited Galway regularly. In fact she was the only member of her family not to have settled in Galway. She followed, with interest, the fortunes of the Galway hurlers and footballers. It is only fitting that her final place of rest should be in her beloved County Galway. 

Pat McLaughlin - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

Pat McLaughlin was born and reared in Malin Head, Co. Donegal. He was the youngest of three  children born to Philip and Roseanne McLaughlin. He attended Malin Head Primary school and Carndonagh Vocational school. Having completed his formal education he served his time as a barman. Having come to live in Dublin in the early sixties he worked in the Green Isle Hotel and later in the Montrose Hotel.

He met Moira Murphy from Ballylinan, Co. Laois, in Dublin and they were married in 1967. They went to live in Canada where they remained and worked for five years. On their return they came to live in Balally Drive. Pat worked for some time for O’ Meara’s Camping in Dundrum Shopping Centre. Sometime later he started his own sports business, which was to become very successful. His family continue to run what is a thriving business. In 1979 the family moved to their present home on Sandyford Road. Their marriage was blessed with two children Carol and Philip. 

Pat was an avid Gaelic football supporter with a special interest in his native Donegal’s senior football team. It was well that he lived to see his county win the All-Ireland Football Final in 1992, and that he was able to enjoy and celebrate the occasion. When Naomh Olaf GAA Club was formed in 1981, Pat was one of its first sponsors, and was soon to become a life long club member. 

Moira McLaughlin’s parents, the late Denis and Christina Murphy were also steeped in the gaelic tradition. Christina a Kilkenny native attended every All-Ireland final between 1939 and 2000, while Denis was secretary of the Laois Co. Board and a delegate to the Leinster Council. When Muhammad Ali and Al Blue Lewis fought in Croke Park in July 1972 it was Denis Murphy that the promoter Butty Sugrue requested to take charge of ticket sales. Denis had the pleasure of meeting Muhammad Ali at Dublin Airport. When Ali was leaving his autographed boxing glove and boxing trunks were his parting gift to Denis.The Murphy family subsequently handed these items to the authorities in Croke Park and they they are now on display in the Museum there. 

Pat died a relatively young man following a short illness in August 1993. There was a large and representative attendance at his funeral Mass in the Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally. The Church Choir of which Pat had been an active and valued member sang during the Mass. His burial took place later in Shanganagh Cemetery. His family invited everybody, many of whom had travelled long distances to a reception in Naomh Olaf GAA Club. It was the first such reception to be held in the new clubhouse. 

Following Pat’s death his family donated the “Pat McLaughlin Memorial Cup” to Naomh Olaf GAA Club. The cup has been used for local secondary schools competitions. St Benildus College are the present holders of this very handsome trophy. 

Christopher Doyle - An Appreciation  (By Brendan McGlynn)

The community was shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Christy Doyle, Balally  Drive on the 13th December 1999. Born in Rathvilly, Co Carlow in 1947, he joined the Army Apprentice School in Naas in 1957 where he trained until 1960. He gave 25 years faithful and dedicated service until retiring as a Company Sergeant in 1982. During his service he was employed as an Armament Artificer. He served in the Army Ordinance Corps from 1960-1982. Christy also served with the Irish Peacekeeping Forces abroad on five occasions, twice in the Lebanon, twice in Cyprus and once in Sinai. Following his retirement he was retained in a civilian capacity as an Artificer in Clancy Barracks.

In 1969 he married Bernie Kelly of Rathmore, Co Carlow. Later that year the young couple came to live in their new home in Balally Drive. Their marriage was blessed with three children – Sharon, Gary and Anne. 

Christy was a man of sound Christian values who took pride in his career and who displayed great love and affection towards his family. He was a generous man who was fiercely competitive. He was very energetic and was involved in a wide range of sporting and cultural activities. He took great joy in the simple things of life. 

He loved playing Bridge with his wife Bernie as his partner. They played Dundrum Bridge Club and also in the Carnegie Bridge Club in Sandyford where Christy was Club Secretary for three years. In November 1999 they played there in the Irish Bridge Union Simultaneous Pairs, which is a National Competition.  It was only on the 11th January 2000 that Bernie was notified that herself and Christy had come second in the Competition winning them a prize of £80. 

Christy was a founder member of the Balally Horseshoe Pitching Club. He excelled at the sport and he won the County Dublin Singles in 1977.  He was a member of a team to represent Ireland in an International event in Luton in 1988. On that occasion his team won the major event as well as he ensuing Doubles competition. Gardening was another of his pastimes and with Bernie as his mentor they won First Prize in the Balally Gardening Competition on more than one occasion. He was a regular supporter of the Parish Bingo ever since its inception. 

Christy enjoyed music and had a great feeling for Irish culture. In the past five or six years himself and Bernie had developed a love of set dancing. They have enjoyed sessions inStackstown, Hotel Victor, Glenalbyn and Naomh Olaf GAA Club, often twice weekly. Indeed it was while they were set dancing in Bray that Christy took ill and died. 

The large attendance at both the removal of the remains and the funeral Mass in the Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally were testimony to the high esteem in which he was rightly held. The attendance included many high ranking Army Officers. The organisation of National Ex-Servicemen of which he was a member provided a Guard of Honour. Very Rev. Fr Dermot Lane P.P. delivered a fitting homily. The coffin draped in the Tricolour was later taken to Shanganagh Cemetery for burial. Following the burial his family provided their friends, many of which had travelled from Carlow, with refreshments in Naomh Olaf GAA Club where Christy was proud to be a life member. Indeed some of Christy’s craftsmanship is on display in the foyer in the form of a plaque having the names of the Chairmen of the club inscribed, as well as a plaque commemorating the official opening of the premises. 

John Ryan An Appreciation (By Jerome Hogan)

John Ryan formerly of Balally and latterly of Holy Cross, Co. Tipperary, died at the end of May.  Born in 1936 into a farming family, John was the eldest of six children, four boys and two girls.  The family home was in Liscrea, Bouladuff, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. He attended the local National School in Bouladuff and afterwards Thurles CBS.  John often mentioned to me the great start he got in that local national school and spoke particularly about a female teacher from Kerry who didn’t stand on ceremony but gave the children a good foundation in the basics of the three R’s. John’s family had an agricultural contracting business and John, as a young man, played a major part in running the business.  He became very adept at operating farm machinery and that skill stood to him during his lifetime.  In the era before combine harvesters, John had a threshing machine on hire to the local farmers and also delivered beet by truck for C.I.E. to the local sugar factory in Thurles. 

It wasn’t all work though for John.  He took time off for recreation also and in 1961 he met a young nurse from Coolderry, Co. Offaly.  Maura Dooley worked as a nurse for a while in Nenagh Hospital.  John and Maura were married in 1964 and lived in Tipperary until April 1965.  At that juncture, a decision was made to come to Dublin.  They lived for a time in Terenure and in 1967 they bought a house in Balally.  Eventually, they had four children – Tadhg, Micheál, Siobhán and Eoin.  Balally was the family home until John and Maura decided to retire to live in Holy Cross. John lived out the last few years of his life in his beloved Tipperary, not too far from his native shore. In Dublin, John spent the first few years of his working life with Dublin Dairies and then in 1970 he became Transport Manager for Gambol Simms Steel.  When, in 1980 the company moved to Lisburn, Northern Ireland, John started up his own courier business and retired from this in 2004.

John’s family meant everything to him.  He was very supportive to them all and took great pride in their achievements.  He was a great provider and could turn his hand to anything, especially if it was anything mechanical. John was a wonderful person to have as a friend.  He loved company and socialising.  He could hold his own in any company and liked nothing better than to get into a good argument with friends.  He didn’t suffer fools gladly and he was a master of the quick put-down.

ohn had a lot of interests outside of his family and work.  His love of things Tipperary and Tipperary Hurling especially knew no bounds.  For many years he was on the committee of the Tipperary Association in Dublin.  I had the pleasure of his company on many trips to Croke Park, Thurles, Cork, Killarney and Limerick where big games, involving Tipp, were played.  He also, of course, had to acknowledge Maura’s Offaly.  His interest in sport was widespread.  He enjoyed horse racing and made many trips to Cheltenham.  He followed the Irish rugby lads to Cardiff Arms Park and Twickenham on occasions also.  And, of course, anything got to do with cars took John’s interest too.  He used to follow the Circuit of Ireland Car Rally as a backup to his late brother Paddy who was taking part.    When John moved to Holy Cross he purchased a Silver Shadow Rolls Royce.  He joined the Vintage Club and had four or five years of Vintage Rallying which he enjoyed very much.  John had a great interest in politics in general but especially at local level and had many friends and contacts in that area.

When Naomh Olaf GAA Club was founded in the early 80’s John took a great interest in its affairs.  He was a great supporter of both hurling and football.  He served as a Mentor for a while with a hurling team.  He also served on Committee and, in general, he played his part in making the club such a success.  When John left Balally to live in Holy Cross he left a void in the club and his company was sorely missed around the clubhouse.

John’s health had been failing for the last couple of years.  He was taken great care of at home by Maura especially and Micheál and the other members of the family.  He passed away quietly on Thursday, May 31st.  He was waked at home on Friday evening and his remains were brought to Holy Cross Abbey on Saturday morning for Mass and burial afterwards in the cemetery adjoining the Abbey which is a beautiful old building and a former Cistercian Monastery, dating back to the 11th Century. The esteem that people had for John and his family was reflected in the big crowds that turned up on both days to show their respects.  People travelled long distances to be there.  Twenty-seven members of Naomh Olaf GAA Club formed a ‘Guard of Honour’ after the Mass on Saturday wearing the club colours.  John’s life had gone more or less full circle.  He was back again in his home territory.

Bhí John an-bhródúil as gach rud gaelach, as an tir, as na daoine, as na cluichí agus as an teanga dúchais.  Is minic a chuaigh sé agus a chlann ar saoire go dtí An Daingean, An Ceathrú Rua agus Tir Chonaill, áiteanna a bhfuil an teanga le cloisteáil.  Tá cara iontach imithe uainn.  Go mbeadh suaimhneas síoraí aige i bhflaitheas Dé.  May John rest in peace.

The Ryan Family provided wonderful hospitality over both days of the funeral, both at home in the house and in Young’s Restaurant in The Ragg, where over 200 people sat down to a lovely hot meal.  It was much appreciated.

Kevin O’Malley, 1941-2014    An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

The news of the death of Kevin O’Malley, following a short illness, was greeted with a deep sense of loss and sadness within the community.  Kevin died peacefully in Saint Vincent’s University Hospital on Sunday the 22nd June, surrounded by his wife Maureen and family.

Kevin who was born in 1941 was reared in the picturesque village of Kinlough, near Lough Melvin, County Leitrim.  He was the fourth eldest of a family of four boys and two girls born to John and Mary O’Malley.  His father, who was a member of An Garda Siochana, sadly died in 1954 when Kevin was only thirteen years of age.  Kevin attended the local Four Masters primary school, the De La Salle secondary school in Ballyshannon and also the technical school there. 

Having completed his formal education, Kevin joined the E.S.B. and there he became a Fitter Turner and also a Master Welder.  He later became a mechanical and welding instructor.  He went on secondment to Vietnam on instruction/ training exercises for a number of lengthy periods between 1986 and 1992.  While there he worked in power stations as a welding instructor.  He also worked in a similar capacity at most power stations throughout this country.  He was very highly regarded as an instructor and had a very successful career. He retired in 2004 having completed forty-seven years of diligent service.

Kevin was married to Maureen Hehir from Mullagh, County Clare, in the Parish Church there in 1968 and they moved into their new home in Balally Drive, that year.  It was there that they reared their two sons Aidan and Gerard.  Kevin provided well for his family.  He was a good neighbour and was always willing to support any worthwhile cause.

Kevin was a well known Gaelic footballer.  He played Minor Football with Leitrim.  He was a star player on his Club’s team Melvin Gaels when winning five Leitrim Senior Football Championships, in 1959, 60, 61, 62, and 65.  He won a Connacht Junior Football Championship with Leitrim in 1962. He played Senior Football with Leitrim for a number of years. The highlight of which was probably playing in the Connacht Final in 1963.  Having come to live in Balally Kevin played with Benburbs for a while.  He then played with Binn Eadair (Howth) where his brother Gabriel was playing.  In 1973/74 his team won the Dublin Junior Division 1Championship, the Loving Cup and the Intermediate League.  He then played Senior and Junior football with Kilmacud Crokes and won a Junior Division 1 League with them.

When Naomh Olaf Club was founded in 1981 Kevin was one of its founder members.  Since then he has been a valued member, giving outstanding service as a player, committee member, team mentor, board delegate etc. Kevin played Junior Football and Hurling with the Club in the early 1990’s and was a positive and encouraging influence on the younger players. He won his final medals when the Club won the Junior Championship, Division one of the League and the Conlon Cup in 1990.

In 2012 in recognition of Kevin’s dedicated contribution to the promotion of Gaelic Games, Cumann Lúthchleas Gael,  Coiste Ath Cliath, Coiste Na Seana Gael, at a special function, presented him with a Testimonial.  Kevin received further recognition on the 29th.June, 2014, when prior to the Senior Football Championship game between Leitrim and Down in Páirc Esler, Newry, a minutes silence was observed in his honour.

Kevin reposed at his home on the 23rd June, and was removed to the Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally, for 10 a.m. Mass on the 24th June.  Naomh Olaf minor football team formed a guard of honour as his coffin draped in the Leitrim, Melvin Gaels and Naomh Olaf, club’s colours was received into the Church.  The chief celebrant of the Mass was Father Fergus McGlynn, assisted by Father Anthony Darragh, a family relative.  Kevin’s son Ger delivered the eulogy.  The large and representative attendance including many well known Gaelic footballers of his generation was testimony to the affection in which Kevin was held by all who had the privilege of knowing him.  Following the Mass his remains were taken to Glencullen cemetery for burial.   After the burial the family invited everybody to Naomh Olaf G.A.A. club for a meal.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis   

John Mahoney - An Appreciation  (By Brendan McGlynn)

The sudden and untimely death of John Mahoney, at his workplace in the grounds of the Holy Family Residence, Roebuck Road, Clonskeagh on the 5th June 09, came as a great shock to those privileged to know him. John, who was only sixty three years of age, was a son of the late Jeremiah and Bridget Mahoney of Direen, Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry and was one of a family of three girls and three boys. 

Having completed his formal education John, who was reared on the family farm, emigrated to Birmingham, where he played Gaelic Football with the St. Brendan's and Kingdom clubs. In 1970 he moved to London where he starred on the Kingdom Gaels GAA Club’s Senior football team for a decade. During this period the Mahoney brothers, Jerry, Jim and John became legends of London and British football. John played with distinction at centre-half forward on his club’s team that won six back to back London Senior football Championships, four provincial championships, several leagues, cups and seven-a-side competitions, including two Senior all Ireland seven-a-side titles in Kilmacud. He also won a junior All Ireland championship with London in 1971. 

In 1975 he was part of the first London side to compete in the Connaught Senior football championship. He will best be remembered however for helping the Exiles to their only ever Connaught Championship win over Leitrim in 1977. 

Many tributes have been paid to John since his passing. The Kerryman newspaper, as well as some London newspapers, have paid glowing tributes to him. Former London Co. Board Chairman Frank Sheehan said” John would have got on any County team in Ireland in his prime” a comment endorsed by former Vice Chairman Paddy Cowen, editor of the Irish World Newspaper, who also said “ John was a great role model for anyone who wanted to play gaelic football”. John’s kingdom Manager in the 1970’s Pat Griffin from Lispole said “John was extremely dedicated and was very committed on the field. He always gave 100 percent. He was very reliable and could score left or right. He was very good player”. 

John had returned to live in Ireland when he met Frances Lynch from Cork City in Dublin 1986. They were married in 1988 and since then they had lived happily in their home in Wedgewood. John was a rather reserved character who was extremely kind and caring. He had a great sense of humour and a very hearty laugh. He had a smile for everybody. Having come to live in Wedgewood John joined Naomh Olaf GAA Club. He also became a member of Westwood Gym and continued to maintain a high level of personal fitness. He loved swimming and walking. He lived for Gaelic Football and had a huge affinity with his native County. He also had a keen interest in nature and current affairs. 

John’s death has left a deep void in the lives of his beloved wife Frances and her family as well as in the lives of his own sisters and brothers. He will be remembered with fondness and respect by all who knew him. His removal took place from O’ Connor Brothers funeral Home in Coburgh St, Cork to St. Patricks Church, Lower Glanmire Road on the 10th June 2009 and his funeral mass was celebrated there on the 11th June 2009. Members of the Renard GAA club in Kerry and the Kingdom club in London formed a guard of honour on both occasions. They also shouldered the coffin of their hero which was draped in the colours of both clubs. The attendance included nearly all of his playing colleagues from the 1970’s as well as club and provincial officials who had travelled long distances to pay their prayfull respects. Pat Griffin who had travelled from London gave a very warm and sincere Eulogy which showed the affection and esteem in which John was held. Following the funeral Mass the remains of the Kerry man who had so often brought joy and excitement to the hearts of Irish Exiles was laid to rest in Saint Josephs Cemetery, Little Island, Glanmire, Co. Cork. 

John O'Brien - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

The Community was saddened at the news of the death of John O’Brien, Clonard Grove, which  occurred at St Vincent’s Private Nursing Home, Elm Park, on Saturday the 8th of June 2002. Born in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in October 1937, John was an accountant by profession. He was employed for a time by Ericsson, and subsequently by Johnsons Brother in Ballymount Walkinstown, until he retired in 1999.

John truly one of nature’s gentlemen. His quiet pleasant manner and ready smile endeared him to all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him. He was above all else an outstanding family man. While his wife Brenda and his three sons John, Tony and David will miss him sorely, he has left them many very pleasant memories to treasure. 

John had a great love of sport, particularly hurling and Gaelic football. He rarely missed attending a game when one or more of his sons were playing, and he could always be relied on to provide transport. It gave him great pleasure when his youngest son, the late Barry, was selected on the Dublin under 21 and senior hurling panels this year. 

It was only last September that John was asked to serve on the Executive Committee of Naomh Olaf GAA Club, as treasurer. As usual, he was willing to oblige. It was a particularly busy time in the club, as the development draw was in progress. John carried out his function quietly and efficiently, creating a lasting impression in a relatively short period of time. 

When I visited John in hospital five days before his death, the only concern that he expressed was that I would thank on his behalf all those who had visited him, as well as the many people who had sent cards and messages of goodwill to himself and his family.  I think that this speaks volumes about the sort of man John was, always placing the needs of others before his own. 

There was a large and representative attendance at the removal of John’s remains from his home to the Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally, on Monday the 10th of June. Naomh Olaf GAA Club provided a guard of honour, as John’s four sons, carried the coffin draped in the Naomh Olaf flag, into the church. Father Brian Edwards officiated. Following the removal, the O’Brien family invited everyone present to Naomh Olaf GAA Club for refreshments. 

The funeral mass was celebrated by Father Brian Edwards assisted by Father Charles Archer, of the Salesian College, Celbridge, where John’s brother Jim had taught until he retired recently. John’s wife Brenda read the first reading, while his brother Jim read the second reading. His four sons said the prayers of the faithful. Father Edwards preached a most appropriate homely. The offertory gifts included a family photograph, a hurley and the jersey of John’s beloved county Wexford. The singing of the adult choir was much appreciated. Following the ceremony, the remains were taken to Mount Jerome Cemetery for cremation.The O’Brien family bore their grief with great courage and dignity that was matched only by the manner in which John had accepted his illness and death. 

Bill Sunderland - An Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn)

Bill Sunderland was born in 1938.  He was one of a family of four boys and one girl. His brother John is now his only Bill Sunderland surviving sibling. When Bill was born his family was living in Irishtown, but they soon moved to Killester. His father died when he was only twelve years of age and Bill served his funeral mass in St. Brigid’s church, Killester. 

Having finished his formal education, Bill, like so many young people of his generation, went to work in England.  It was there he met Maureen Ward, from Donegal. They were married in 1958 when Bill was just twenty years of age.  Their marriage was blessed with three children - two sons, John and William, and one daughter, Margaret.  Bill returned with his family to live in Killester and to look after his mother in 1967.  Bill’s wife Maureen died a young woman.

In 1982 Bill met Terry Clancy of Moycullen, Co. Galway. They were married in 1983.  Their wedding was only the second wedding to take place in the then new Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally.  The couple lived happily in their home in Balally Drive since then. Bill, who was a driving instructor, was a member of St. Vincent’s GAA club and had played football with such well-known GAA personalities as Paddy Cullen and Jimmy Keaveney.  Following his arrival in Balally, he joined Naomh Olaf GAA club.  He soon became immersed in the life of the club.  He served as an adult football team mentor, but will best be remembered for his outstanding contribution to the success of the club’s weekly lotto draw.  Bill visited many of the licensed premises in the club’s catchment area every weekend where he sold lotto tickets to his many regular customers.  He would have a warm word for everyone and would not confine his sales to his regular customers.  On his visit to the clubhouse on Sunday evenings with the proceeds of his sales, he would enjoy a social evening with his wife Terry and his many friends.  Gaelic games of the week would be discussed and the banter would be mighty, particularly if his beloved Dubs had been playing.

Bill had been in poor health for a number of years and had spent the last twelve months of his life in the Leopardstown hospital, where he died on the 14th April 2012.  His remains were removed to the Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally, on the 18th April and his funeral mass was celebrated there by Father Fergus McGlynn on the morning of the 19th April.  The burial was in Mount Jerome Cemetery.  The large attendance of Naomh Olaf GAA club members on both occasions reflected Bill’s popularity and standing within the club.  Refreshments were served in the clubhouse following the removal and the family provided a hot meal in the clubhouse following the burial.

Paul Curran, 1971-2014 an Appreciation (By Brendan McGlynn).

The news of the untimely death of Paul Curran, following a long illness, borne with great fortitude and dignity, was greeted with a deep sense of loss and sadness. Paul died peacefully in his home on Valentia Island, Co Kerry, on the 13th. October 2014, surrounded by his wife Karen and family.  Paul was born and reared on picturesque Valentia Island.  He was the youngest of a family of seven, five boys and two girls born to Teresa and the late John Curran.  He attended primary school on the island and secondary school in Cahersiveen.  Paul was a carpenter by trade. He was married to Karen Doyle from Dundrum, and they have three teenage daughters, Sarah, Clodagh, and Caoimhe.

Paul was an outstanding sportsman.  He was a brilliant Gaelic footballer, a great fielder of the ball, and accurate off both feet from long or short distances.  Midfield was his preferred position, but he was a very effective half forward, a prolific scorer and was a joy to watch as he weaved his way gracefully through opposing defences. He represented Kerry at Minor, Under 21, Junior and Senior level.  He won two under 21 County Championships in 1991 and 1992.  He played for Kerry in the 1992 under 21 All Ireland Final.  Paul played Senior Football for Kerry, and he lined out for them in their National League play-off against Meath in 1992.

Paul moved to Dublin in 1993.  He transferred to Naomh Olaf in 1997.  In December 1997 he was voted the Irish Nationwide Dublin G.A.A. Club Footballer of the Month.  In 1998 Naomh Olaf were promoted to Division one of the League, and in 1999 the senior football team won its first silverware, the A.I.B. Cup.  Paul was very influential in all of the Club’s success during that period.  In 2000 Paul returned to live in his beloved Kingdom and played with his home club Valentia Young Islanders until 2009. During the course of a brilliant Club career he won six South Kerry Senior Championship medals.  He played the bagpipes and was a member of the Valentia Pipe Band.       

In 2010 Paul was diagnosed with cancer and he underwent surgery at Kerry General hospital.  He fought a remarkably brave four year battle against his illness.  In 2012 a trust fund was established in his name to raise funds for an operation he so desperately needed.  He later underwent surgery at the Royal MarsdenHospital in London, which prolonged his life. Naomh Olaf Club held a very successful fund raising event for him.

Paul was waked in his home and reposed at Daly’s funeral home in Cahersiveen, his concelebrated funeral Mass was celebrated in Chapeltown Parish Church, Valentia, on the 15th October 2014.   A very large number of sympathizers came to his home, to the funeral home in and also to his funeral Mass to say their prayerful farewells. The large and representative attendances, including many well known Gaelic footballers, of past and present generations, and was testimony to the affection in which Paul was held by all who had the privilege of knowing him.  Members of the Valentia Young Islanders, Naomh Olaf, and Ballyboden Saint Endas G.A.A. Clubs formed a guard of honour as his coffin was taken from the church.  His remains were taken to Cill Mór cemetery on the Island for burial.  After the burial the chairman of the Valentia Club spoke.  Paddy Feehan from Naomh Olaf spoke on his own behalf, and behalf of all who had the pleasure of playing football with Paul while he was in Dublin.  Paul’s wife Karen spoke, as did Paul’s brother Tony.  They expressed their sincere gratitude to their neighbours, friends, and to the wider community, particularly the wider G.A.A. community, for the moral and very generous financial support Paul had received during his illness. They spoke of how much it meant to Paul, and his family. The family invited everyone present to the Royal Hotel, Valentia, for a meal.

Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

 

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