The late Joe Flynn, St. Mary’s Close, Ck-on-Shannon and St Mary’s-Kiltoghert GAA Club

Leitrim GAA wishes to express its profound sadness at the news of the passing earlier this morning of Joe Flynn, St Mary’s Close, Ck-on-Shannon, and St Mary’s Kiltoghert GAA Club.  Joe, the most recent former Cathaoirleach of Coiste Chontae Liatroma, a position he worked tirelessly at, served as Cathaoirleach in the years 2010 to 2014 and he led his management and county committee in an exemplary manner throughout this period. This was but just a small period of a lifetime of service to Cumann Lúthchleas Gael in a multitude of varying capacities.

Joe was secondary educated in St Mel’s College, Longford, with whom he won an All-Ireland Senior Colleges medal in 1963. He backed this up with a Leitrim MFC medal with St Mary’s in 1965 and went on to play adult club football with the St Mary’s Club into the 1970s. He quickly turned to the administration wing of the GAA and served his club as Chairman for a period during the same decade, while still a very young man. The referee’s whistle came calling and Joe was not found wanting, a measure of his all-round capability exemplified by the fact that he referreed two Senior Championship Finals. In 1979 he was man in the middle as Ballinamore-Sean O Heslin’s defeated Gortletteragh and also refereed the final between the same two teams in 1982, in which the Ballinamore side was also victorious. Throughout this period, Joe was also immersed in Scór and won many county titles and a number of Connacht titles with his club, excelling in Ballad Group.  Joe’s most recent major role in his club was from 1994-96 when he completed the arduous role as Club Secretary. During that period, specifically 1995, St Mary’s had what was arguably their greatest ever season winning the Leitrim SFC, IFC and MFC, a feat that is unlikely to ever be matched. They also reached the Connacht SFC Club final that same season, defeated by Corofin. Joe was a selector on that senior team.

It was inevitable, given his administrative talent, that his county would come calling. He became Cathaoirleach Bord na nÓg Liatroma in 1990 and held the position for three years. Incidentally, during his tenure Leitrim won the Under 16 Fr Manning Cup in 1990 and the Connacht Minor Football League in 1991, reaching the Connacht MFC final of the same year.  In 1995, as Team Manager of the County Vocational Schools team, he led his charges to a Connacht SFC success and an All-Ireland Final appearance in Croke Park in which they were unfortunately defeated by Donegal. With his avid interest in the development of players at a young age, it was no surprise that Joe served Coiste Chontae Liatroma as Coaching officer for a number of years throughout the 1990s. This period coincided with the introduction of outside coaches visiting clubs from the early 1990s and was a valuable outlet for the energies of young student footballers who directed their energies towards helping the young club players of the era. Joe oversaw its implementation in what was groundbreaking at the time. He oversaw the introduction and administration of the forerunners of the modern day Cúl Camps as Summer Camp fever hit many locations through the late 1990s. In 1996 he organised and overseen the very first School of Excellence in Leitrim as the best Under 14 Club Footballers of that year were brought together for a week in Páirc Seán in August of that year. It was novel initiative as Leitrim Captain of that era Declan Darcy and Tyrone’s Peter Canavan imparted their knowledge to the youngsters on separate days during that week. A number of these young players went on to wear the County Senior Jersey.

From 2000 to 2009 Joe served as Leitrim’s delegate to Connacht Council, a position he held and carried with great distinction, and we are sure that Connacht Council GAA was a much better place given his wisdom and knowledge of all things GAA.  His influence extended well beyond the county and provincial boundaries. He served on the Games Administration Committee of Páirc an Chrócaigh 2006-2008, Central Hearings Committee 2009-2012, Central Appeals Committee 2012-2015 and his last position, a second period with the Central Hearings Committee 2015 to present.

Joe never forgot his roots and was essentially a community person who immersed himself in many local organisations for their betterment, no matter how much life threw at him. He became Chairman of the Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada following the retirement of the late George O Toole and held the position until he became Cathaoirleach Coiste Chontae Liatroma in 2010.During the term of his Chairmanship of the Páirc Seán Committee, the new stand came to fruition in 2007 and he was heavily involved in this project. He currently was Treasurer of the Páirc Seán Committee.

Joe was much respected former Principal of Carrick-on-Shannon Community School, a position he held from its opening until he retired in 2009 having previously spent the vast majority of his teaching career in Carrick Vocational School.

Essentially, we in Leitrim GAA will always have fond memories of the impact the genial Joe has had in the administration of GAA affairs in the county and he has left a void that will remain extremely hard to fill. He was a great people person and away rom the cut and thrust of GAA decision making and debate he was great company. The impact of his passing, however, will be most closely felt by his family and we tender our deepest sympathies to his wife wife Mary, sons Nicholas, Cormac and Joseph, daughter Clodagh, daughters-in-law Lorraine and Sylvia, son-in-law David, grandchildren Orlaíth, Nicky, Sorcha, Béibhinn, Tadhg and Paídí, brother Gerard, sisters Mary, Joan and Noeleen, aunt (Bridie Tighe) sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and a large circle of friends.

Rest In Peace, a Sheosamh, a chara

Reposing at his home tomorrow, Sunday, from 3pm until 7pm and on Monday from 5pm until 9pm. Removal to St. Mary’s Church, Carrick-on-Shannon on Tuesday to arrive for Mass of Christian Burial at 3pm with funeral afterwards to St. Mary’s Cemetery. Family flowers only please; donations if so desired to St. Mary’s Conference, St. Vincent de Paul, Carrick-on-Shannon. House private at all other times please.

Ar Dheis Dé go raibh sé

 

 

 

06-May-17 by Declan Bohan – PRO