TIMMY SHEEHAN GRAVESIDE ORATION.
As we gather here this afternoon to say a final farewell to our good friend and colleague Timmy Sheehan many of us are still in shock after the sad news that broke on Tuesday afternoon of his sudden passing. The previous night Timmy was in his usual good form with his colleagues in the Stacks Clubhouse going through all the main sporting events of the week-end. The day before (last Sunday) he was reporting for Radio Kerry on the Kerry/Antrim NHL game in Austin Stack Park. A fortnight ago tonight he did his usual brilliant performance as master of ceremonies at the Club’s Annual Social where the Senior Footballers and C Team players were presented with their winning medals after a very successful 2019 season.
Part of me is still saying what am I doing here – Isn’t it Timmy who normally did this job. And he did do it at countless funerals down the years and there was nobody but nobody who could do it better.
Many will remember Timmy for his sporting achievements but his day job was with KCC and he worked there in many departments for 43 yrs and he was as meticulous at his day job as he was at every other task he undertook. For example he was part of the Council’s administration team that oversaw the construction of the Ballygarry/Ballybeggan Bye-pass road, a major project that was constructed on time and within budget.
But of course it was his sporting achievements that most of us will remember him by. Coming up through the Juvenile ranks of his beloved Rock Club during the 1960s his first major success came in 1967 when Stacks won the MH Co. Championship. Timmy’s midfield partner in that final was none other than Dick Spring who later became a very successful politician. Timmy then went on to have a glittering career at Senior level – going on to win four SF Co. Championships in 1973, 1975, 1976 and 1979. In between he won a Munster and an All Ireland Club Championship medal during the 1976/77 season. He also won five Co. League titles during the same period. When we won our first Co. League title in 1973 it was Timmy’s good friend, Billy Curtin, who captained the side. When we won our second League title the following year (1974) it was Timmy himself who captained the team.
When his Senior days were over he lined out with the Junior teams and was a member of the C team when they won their first Barrett Cup Final in 1986. Even before he hung up his boots he was an outstanding coach and manager of many teams at both Juvenile and Senior levels down the years. In 1980 for example, he was part of the management team, along with Billy Curtin and Tony O’Keeffe when our Minors won their 2nd Co. Championship title. He was also Manager of a very good Senior Hurling team which the Club had in the late 1980s-early 1990s – a team that was nurtured at juvenile level, some years before that, by Timmy’s good friend, Brian Neenan. Timmy’s son Billy was also an outstanding Club player and had a brilliant career with the Laois Senior Footballers from 2004 right up to 2016. And rarely if ever did Timmy miss a Laois match during that period.
In addition to his Club work he was also a brilliant sports writer with the local Kerryman Newspaper and reporter/commentator with Radio Kerry. His knowledge of most sports was second to none. Apart from GAA matters he excelled in Basketball and Soccor in particular and he was so pleased this season to see his beloved Liverpool moving closer to winning the Premiership after a 30 year gap. Any Timmy the final whistle has just blown in to-day’s early kick-off in Anfield and Liverpool have defeated Bournemouth by 2-1.
And if we hadn’t known already how well Timmy was regarded just look at the Guard of Honour of stars of the past and stars of the present that accompanied his cortege from Gleasure’s Funeral Home in Matt Talbot Rd. into Pembroke St. and right up from the Bottom of the Rock to the Top of the Rock last night and again today from St. Brendan’s Church to Rath Cemetery.
Again we extend sincere sympathy to you Anne, to Lorraine, Billy and Marie; to young Timmy, young Billy and young Davie; to Timmy’s sisters Patricia and Noreen and to all his extended family and friends. And Anne you know without anyone having to tell you that, as well as your beloved family, you have some very close friends – friends like Veron and Joan, Maura and Joan, Siobhan and Noreen, Mary and Bernie and Angela and Lyn, who are also your card playing friends – to name just but a few – who will always be there for you no matter what.
So Timmy as you often said yourself when eulogising deceased friends – farewell old stock and we all hope to meet again some sunny day. Beir bua agus beannacht a chara agus go ndeana do Dhia trochaire ort.