OBITUARIES

OBITUARIES

Mr. Eddie Finnegan R.I.P. The people of Kentstown and the Furze and the wider GAA community were shocked and saddened at the sudden and untimely death of Eddie Finnegan after a very brief illness. For his entire life he had been a staunch supporter of our club and had an unrivalled love of our native sport.

Eddie's early playing days were spent with neighbouring Lougher in the late fifties as there was no adult team in the parish at that time. But he returned immediately to Seneschalstown when the team was reformed and gave many years of service to the club before injury curtailed his playing career somewhat. He was a skilful, tough and uncompromising player who was described by opponents and team-mates as being 'as hard as nails'.

When his playing days were over he immediately turned to other club activities. For many years along with Tommy Collins and others he nurtured the underage teams in the club. He had a great football brain and was invariably a selector of the adult teams between 1970 to 1995. He was one of the main links between the Furze senior championship winning sides of '72 and '94 and held the unique record of being a selector on both occasions. He played a vital role in both of these wins; events, which gave him, unheralded joy and satisfaction.

He was passionate about football and spent countless hours watching games and talking about them to his family and his wide circle of friends. He must have seen the Furze team play as often as anyone and of course he never missed a Meath game. Once he had fulfilled his Sunday obligation at 8.30 a.m. in Kentstown he was liable to head off anywhere in search of a game especially in the winter months.

He rarely missed a club meeting. Whilst public speaking was not his forte he was a great listener and his opinion carried great influence at the club. He was usually right even if we did not always listen. He loved the customary game of cards after the meeting and could initiate a good dispute if mistakes were made but was equally adept at being a peacemaker when required.

He was very well known in farming circles and built up a very substantial business from the most meagre of beginnings. Through sheer determination and hard work he grew the business year after year. He consistently produced crops to the highest standards and maintained his properties to an impeccably high standard. In business as in football Eddie played in straight up the middle and as one pundit put it at the removal 'You always knew where you stood with him anyway'. As ever the club was never far from his mind and the farm gates on his land were painted in the blue and gold of his club.

Eddie did not confine himself to the GAA and actively supported many activities in the parish though always in a quiet unpublicised way. He was a life long member of the Pioneer Association and in an era of high alcohol and substance abuse, was a shining example of a fulfilled and happy life, without ever having to resort to artificial aides for enjoyment. He was a man with a great physical presence and that presence will be sadly missed whether it be at Mass in Kenstown, at the club in Senescalstown, at the Ballroom of Romance or wherever people gather in the many places he frequented.

But Eddie was above all a great family man and that presence will be missed most around the Finnegan kitchen table and in the farmyard and fields around Bellew. In a strange twist of fate Eddie's mother, Rose, died on the very same day as her beloved son in what transpired to be a traumatic weekend for the Finnegan family. To Eddie's wife Marie, Eddie's family and all the Finnegan clan we offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences.

On a beautiful Saturday evening in May club members formed a guard of honour as his funeral cortège was brought to Kentstown church. The sun shone even brighter on Sunday when he was finally laid to rest in an occasion that will long remain etched in the memory. The esteem in which he was held was reflected in the largest turnout ever witnessed in Kentstown with many well known figures from the world of sport, farming and politics turning up to pay their respects.

Ionad I measc Naomh na hEireann go raibh aige.

Seneschalstown GFC

Mr Pat Carter R.I.P.

Pat Carter, who died last spring, was a founder member of Seneschalstown F.C back in 1932. Prior to then he played football with Knockert and Donore.

He gave sterling service to Seneschalstown as a player and official. A solid full back, he helped the club to junior (1936) and intermediate (1940) championship triumphs.

A great hearted footballer, Pat was noted for his ability to rally a team and his sportsmanship. Then when his playing days were over, he gave tremendous service as an administrator. He served Seneschalstown in virtually every position, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Selector and also did some refereeing.

Pat was one of the men responsible for the building of the fine clubhouse and the development of the ground. His two sons, Sonny and Maurice, have given fine playing service to the Seneschalstown.

Mr Michael McCabe R.I.P.

The death of Mr Michael McCabe (senior). Yellow Furze caused sincere regret within the parish and over a wide area.

He may not have enjoyed good health for some time, but his death was still unexpected and came as a great shock to his family, neighbours and friends.

He was a native of the Kentstown area until he got married and moved to the Yellow Furze close on 50 years ago. Since coming to the Furze he made countless friends though his gentle manner. His kind and witty comments were a feature of his great manner.

Michael, Mickey of "Trick" as he was known to his many friends and neighbours won admiration and trust from everyone.

He was interested in all sports, but particularly Gaelic Football. He was especially proud when watching his son Mattie play for Meath. Michael had nine sons and each one of them played with Seneschalstown in various grades from juvenile to senior.

He was employed in the saw mill industry for many years and was a first class machinist, but when the industry closed down in the area he worked on the Beauparc- Navan section of the railway before retiring 10 years ago.

His interest in social activities made him a popular figure and he played a major role in keeping the village tidy.

We have lost a special friend, one who was appreciated by old and young. We are the poorer for his passing and will miss the friendly chat after matches and of course the many debates which he also enjoyed.

We send our sympathy to his wife family and many relatives and hope they can find some consolation from knowing how popular he was in the parish and over a wider area.

A fitting tribute was paid to him when he was removed to the Yellow Furze Church and again when his remains were taken to the adjoining cemetery the following morning after requiem mass which was celebrated by Rev. P. Farrelly. PP.

Go ndeana Dia trocaire ar a anam.

Seneschalstown G.F.C.

One of the all time greats passes away.

FR TULLY'S CONTRIBUTION TO MEATH G.A.A. MAY NEVER BE EQUALLED.

Deep regret was occasioned throughout the county following the news of the sudden death in the Mater Hospital, Dublin during the year of Rev. Patrick Tully, retired Parish Priest of Duleek. The late Fr Tully had been taken ill on the Hogan Stand at Croke Park, where he had been attending the Meath-Wicklow Leinster Minor Championship final in July.

Born in January, 1916, at Rathdrinagh, Beauparc, he was educated at Kentstown NS, St Finian's College, Mullingar and St Patrick's Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1942. He served in a number of Meath parishes before posting to his first parish, Milltown, Co Westmeath, in 1943. He was transferred to Moynalty in 1948, where he remained until his promotion to Parish Priest of Duleek in 1976. He ministered there until his retirement in 1988. His successor, Fr Michael Lynn, had actually served as an alter boy in Duleek to Fr Tully many years previously. Fr Tully remained active in his retirement in parish work.

His keen athletic skills were in evidence at an early age. He played minor, junior and senior football with Navan De La Salles, 1933-34; was a member of the winning Seneschalstown Junior and Intermediate sides of 1936 and 1940; he won an Intermediate League medal playing with Moyvore, while at the same time training the Milltown footballers. His first experience of administration in the G.A.A.L came with his election as the first Chairman of the Westmeath Minor Board in 1947, with responsibility for both hurling and football.

His transfer to Moynalty brought him into Meath G.A.A administration. In 1949 he was elected County Board Chairman and went on to coach the first Royal County All-Ireland Senior Football champions. He also trained the winning 1954 and 1967 sides. His 20 year term as County Board Chairman included such successes as the National League title in 1951, the Junion football titles of 1952 and 1962, the Minor football title of 1957 and seven Leinster Senior Football Championships. He was one of the organisers of the historic Australian tour in 1968.

He stood down as the Co Board Chairman at the 1969 convention, but remained a selector for that year. While retiring from the county scene, he kept actively involved locally. He was coach and selector of winning Duleek Intermediate football side in 1978. "He always had a feeling for the fellows who didn't get a chance" recalls Peter McDermott. The '49 and '54 (captain) player said Fr Tully was an outstanding athlete and deserved selection for the County side. Their trainer engendered a great team spirit with "his fatherly way".

Conditions in 1949 were much less complicated, with the Co Board Chairman having to virtually run the whole show. The three matches with Louth that year, en route to the Leinster title, compared with the 1991 Meath-Dublin clashes. That spirit Fr Tully maintained through the 1951 and 1952 setbacks to the triumpt of 1954.

Mr McDermott served several years as County Secretary during Fr Tully's chairmanship. He marvelled at Fr Tully's "exceptional fitness" in training the successful 1967 side, and his part in the 1968 visit to Australia. Peter recalled the words of Harry Beitzel, Australian tour organiser; "those of us who kick with the other foot nevertheless admire and respect you Father, for all you are and all you stand for"

St. Ciaran's Church, Duleek, was packed both on the Monday night and on Tuesday morning for the obsequies, including many Senior G.A.A officers from throughout the county. Most Rev. Dr. Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath was the chief con-celebrant of the Requiem Mass, following which interment took place in Holy Cross Cemetery, Duleek.

Deceased is survived by his brother, Mr Launence Tully; sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces and faithful housekeeper, Mai. Just last year there was a large turnout for Fr Tully's golden jubilee celebrations of his ordination.

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