YEAR OF CELEBRATION AND NOSTALGIA: Like every year 2017 was no different to any other with a lot of celebrations but with some sadness and nostalgia as well. We have already referenced our celebrations during our centenary year here in the Notes and of course at the various celebratory events throughout the year. We now pause to remember the sad events during 2017, especially to reflect on all the loved ones who have departed this life during the year. We lost a number of prominent members this year.
In February former dual player and later a team mentor, Mick Ryan passed away. Mick was son of the late Kerry and Rock player and administrator, Dan Ryan.
The following month one of the Club’s outstanding workers, Denis O’Connor died after a short illness. Denny was involved in a variety of Club functions and committees – Lotto, Cards, Field, Bar, Bingo and of course the U13 Lee Strand Tournament, of which he was a founding member in 1986.
Then in September one of the Club’s great supporters, Johnny Carroll, lost his life in a tragic road accident. Johnny rarely missed a game involving the Stacks or indeed his beloved Kerry.
We also lost the Club’s two oldest former players. In January Sister Jessica Doyle died in Dublin just a few weeks short of her 105th birthday. Jessica was a member of a very good Camogie team which the Club had in the late 1920s/early 1930s. Then in October Colm Harty passed away. Colm celebrated his 100th birthday in August – he was born in 1917 the year in which the Club was founded and he was just 19 years old when he won a SF Co. Championship medal with the Club in 1936.
And then in the space of a few hours last Thursday and Friday (21st/22nd Dec) came the sad news of the deaths of Paul Lucey, Paddy Scanlan and Eddie Lacey.
PAUL LUCEY: Paul came from a family of brilliant footballers. His brothers Noel, Jimmy and Vincent were all part of the Kerry SF Teams of the early/mid 1960s, with Noel and Jimmy winning All Ireland medals in 1962. Later in the decade the brothers, including Paul, were part of the Mid Kerry Co. Championship winning team of 1967. When Paul arrived in Tralee in the mid 1970s he became a vital cog in the great Rock teams of our 2nd Golden Era (1973-1994). In his first two seasons with the Club (he made his SF Championship debut on 20th July 1975) he won Co. Championship medals in 1975 and 1976 against his old Club, Mid Kerry in 1975 and against Kenmare District in 1976. Another medal was to follow in 1979 before he made his last SF Co. Championship appearance in August 1981.
The year after he was part of Billy Curtin’s Management team, together with Jim Gannon. Then he managed the team himself in 1987, was a selector again in 1989 with James Hobbert and Denny Long and then managed our Co. Championship winning team in 1994. He was manager again in 1996 and then in recent times he was a selector in Stephen Stack’s Management team of 2013, 2014 and 2015 (winning another Co. Championship in 2014, as well, of course, that year’s Munster Club Championship). He wasn’t involved in 2016 due to his illness but when he recovered earlier this year he got involved again in Club activity, this time with our Ladies team, and he guided them to win the Co. Intermediate Championship at the end of July. Unfortunately his illness re-occurred a few weeks ago and he passed away peacefully last Friday night (22nd Dec) in the presence of family.
Paul was a club favourite and a friend to young and old. He will always hold a special place in the hearts of Austin Stacks Supporters who will no doubt continue to sing his name on the terraces whenever the Rockies take to the field – “and when we get to Munster, the Rockie boys will sing, and when we get to Munster, Paul Lucey is our King!”
We extend sincere sympathy to Niall, Emmett (both former Club footballers), Pamela and Ciara (also a former Club player); to his granddaughters – Hannah-Mai and Ellen – current Club players – and to all his extended family and friends.
PADDY SCANLAN: Another staunch Rockie Paddy was a member of that never-to-be-forgotten triumvirate (along with the late Jackie Power and Timmy McMahon) who spearheaded our Senior Footballers to that famous Co. Championship victory (referenced in many parts of our current Centenary Book) in 1973. He was also a member of the Club Executive Committee during that period. His son Eamon has continued that tradition, mentoring many successful Rock teams down the years, especially at Juvenile level. Presently he is with our U12 footballers. Both will be remembered also for the great service they gave to the Club, whenever required, in their capacities as Local Authority Engineers.
We extend sincere sympathy to Paddy’s wife, Judith; his sons Eamon and Seamus; his daughters Catherine and Bríd and to all his extended family and friends.
EDDIE LACEY: Eddie was another great supporter of the Club, frequenting it on a regular basis up to the time he took ill earlier this year. Eddie was one of the great cyclists in his day. He was a founding member of the Tralee Cycling Club in the mid 1950s and was a member of that great Kerry team that won the Ras Tailteann in 1958. That team, along with Eddie, included some of the greatest names in cycling of that or any other era – Gene Mangan, Mick Murphy, Arthur Caball (first cousin of our Juvenile PRO, Brian), Paddy O’Callaghan, Dan Ahern, Patsy Cremins and Gerald Landers (son of Bill Landers former Stacks and Kerry footballer).
We extend sincere sympathy to Eddie’s wife, Anne; his sons Tim, Gene and Edward; his daughters Deirdre and Joanne and to all his extended family and friends.
SYMPATHY: Sincere sympathy is also offered to the families of the following who died recently – Robert Larkin, Monavally and formerly Belfast; Breda O’Sullivan (nee O’Donoghue), Caherina House, Ballyvelly and formerly Kenmare; and Betty Flaherty, Caheranne and formerly of Baltovin, Ardfert.
CENTENARY BOOK: A reminder that our Centenary Book is available to buy from the following outlets in Tralee: Paudie Commane’s Book Shop on Rock Street; Kevin Barry’s Shop, Rock St.; Rock Street Post Office; Nolan’s Garage North Circular Road; Garvey’s Super Valu Rock St.; Easons, The Mall; First Chapter Manor West; Polymath Book Shop, Court House Lane; and O’Mahony’s Book Shop, Castle Street. This 364 page A4 size Book retails at €25 per copy.
The Book is also available to purchase online on www.austinstacks.ie with postal options for Ireland, UK & International – so spread the word to Rockies at home & abroad’.
CLUB CALENDAR: A reminder also that our very popular Club Calendar 2018 featuring all our juvenile teams boys & girls is still on sale at Kevin Barry’s Shop. Price €5.
PRESENTATION NIGHT: On this Thursday night (28th Dec) there will a special evening in the Clubhouse for players and supporters. The evening will commence at 8pm with the unveiling of a picture of Dan O’Sullivan – the Club’s first Chairman in 1917.
Then at 8.45pm there will be another picture launch of the 2014 SF County and Munster Championship winners followed by medal presentations to the following four team winners: SF Club Championship 2016; SF Town League 2016; JF Town League 2016 and JF Town League 2017.
CLUB AGM: All Club Members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Austin Stacks Hurling and Football Club taking place in the Gym Hall, Connolly Park, on Sunday 14th January, 2018 at 12.00 p.m. Nominations are invited for all positions on the incoming Executive Committee. Details of the outgoing Executive Committee & procedure on how to return nominations can be viewed on club website www.austinstacks.ie Any queries please contact Club Secretary Elma Nix on 086 1053300.
CONGRATULATIONS: to Niamh McLoughlin and Florian Baudouin who were married in France last Saturday (23rd Dec). Niamh is daughter of Adrienne and Damien.
CLUBHOUSE: As always the Clubhouse is available for all types of Parties and Functions. Enquiries about Club Bookings should be made by contacting Harry Hynes at 087 2467286.
CARDS: The 45 Card Sessions continue in the Clubhouse on every Monday and Thursday nights, commencing at 9.30pm each night. A reminder that there will be no Cards on this Thursday (28th Dec) due to the Picture unveiling and the Medal Presentation ceremonies. The Cards will resume again on Monday next, 1st January and on the following Thursday, 4th January.
LOTTO: Last week’s (23rd December) Jackpot, worth €7,300, was not won. The numbers drawn were 2, 9, 12, 293. The €20 winners were: John & Phil Breen, and Sarah Barry, both c/o The Club; Pauline McDonald, c/o Rock Street Post Office; James Henry, c/o Joe Naughton; Michelle Carroll Slattery, c/o Club Rockies.
Tickets are on regular sale at the Rock Street Post Office and at the Stacks Clubhouse, as well as from our other regular sellers.
The next Lotto Draw will take place on Tuesday, 2nd January.