The death occurred earlier today (Sunday), of Shay Reynolds, Clooncolry, Dromod, and late of Bornacoola GAA Club. Shay had very recently and suddenly taken ill and passed to his eternal reward at Mullingar General Hospital.
The late Shay was many things to many people and gave of his all for the betterment of his community, parish and county and indeed beyond the county boundaries. As a member of Bornacoola Community Development, Dromod Development Association, Cloonmorris Graveyard Committee, to name but few, Shay was always to the fore in the promotion of all that is good within a community and among those organisations he will be sorely missed. Indeed Shay was also an avid follower of drama and starred in many productions in Cloonturk Hall many moons ago.
However it was in his beloved GAA that he left an indelible mark on all of us who were privileged to have shared his company. As Bornacoola GAA Club was dormant throughout the 1960s Shay played his earlier football with Annaduff GAA Club and indeed played in the County Senior Football Championship Final of 1966, with the Aughavas opposition of the day proving victorious. Shay managed to capture an elusive championship medal with his victorious Annaduff teammates in 1972 but with the return to the footballing fraternity of Bornacoola GAA Club in 1973, Shay transferred his allegiance back to his native parish, winning a Junior Football League Medal in 1976 and played with the two Junior Championship Finalists of 1977 and 1978 versus Drumreilly and Mohill respectively. With his playing career drawing to a close at this stage, Shay turned his hand to refereeing at which he was most adept. In 1980 he was the recipient of the Leitrim Referee of the Year Award.
As an administrator, Shay had few equals. He served the Executive of Leitrim GAA of that era as Registrar and also had a very keen interest in Scór, both as a participant and more recently as a Scór Officer. He served as Treasurer to the Connacht Scór Committee for many years in the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s and had many busy days at Provincial Scór Finals.
He served his club in many positions and held the position of Bornacoola GAA Club Chairman from 1989 to 2002, a fourteen year term during which the Bornacoola Club went from strength to strength on the playing fields with multiple underage successes as the club arrived to within grasp of a coveted Senior Championship title. Following his retirement as Chairman he was elected as Club President a position he held for the remainder of his days.
At county level, Shay was the ultimate supporter. Hail, rain or shine Shay travelled the length and breadth of the country to follow his beloved Leitrim. Many of those journeys were shared with his good friends and equally staunch Leitrim Supporters, TP Cox and the late Jimmy O Connor. While the result may not always have been favourable, the banter to and from those matches was bound to be priceless.
When the late Joe Flynn, Cathaoirleach Coiste Chontae Liatroma, was elected to office, one of his first appointments was Shay Reynolds as Chairman of the Leitrim Supporters Club. Shay threw himself with gusto into the role and presided over the Committee for the next six years. No effort was spared to ensure the success of the largest fundraising activity of Leitrim’s calendar. Indeed after he had retired from the position as chair of the committee, Shay was still a huge driving force behind the operation and no later than March 10th last, he presided over the 2018 draw in Cox’s Steakhouse, acting as MC on the night, with little sign of what, unfortunately, lay ahead.
Suffice it to say, Shay Reynolds was larger than life. He was excellent company in any company and many sing songs into the future will not be the same. ‘The Rattling Bog’ and ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ will never really sound the same again and certainly when they are heard again in impromptu sing-alongs, memories of Shay will live on.
We, at Leitrim GAA, are extremely sorry to lose Shay as his passing has left a massive void that will be impossible to fill. He will be a tremendous loss to his community and his Club as his guiding wisdom was much sought after. However, his family will miss him most of all and we wish to convey our sympathies to his wife Mary, sons Cathal and John, son in law Simon, daughter in law Nicola, grandson Kian, granddaughter Laila, sisters Maureen Hanley (Strokestown) and Betty Murray (Greystones) brothers in law, sisters in law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and many, many friends.
Rest in Peace
Reposing at his home Tuesday from 2 until 8pm. Removal on Wednesday to arrive at St. Joseph’s Church, Cloonturk, for Funeral Mass at 12 noon followed by burial in the Cloonmorris Cemetery. Family flowers only please, donations, if desired, to M.R.I. Scanner Fund at Regional Hospital, Mullingar c/o McGowan Funeral Directors (donation box in church).
House private outside reposing times.
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh sé.