'A true hurling man': Tributes to club president of Kilmallock GAA John Donegan

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

The late John Donegan, pictured above in 1978 at a staff party for Murphy’s Brewery, was laid to rest this Wednesday following funeral Mass in Kilmallock

The late John Donegan, pictured above in 1978 at a staff party for Murphy’s Brewery, was laid to rest this Wednesday following funeral Mass in Kilmallock

TRIBUTES have been paid to club president of Kilmallock GAA, John Donegan, who was laid to rest this Wednesday.

Mr Donegan of Ardkilmartin, Kilmallock, passed away on Sunday in the tender and loving care of the matron and staff of Ard na Ri nursing home in Bruff.

For over 50 years John had been a staunch supporter of Kilmallock GAA. He joined the club committee in 1953 and played underage hurling in the late ‘40s.

John was heavily involved in the early development of the GAA grounds in the early ‘50s. He was one of the many people who helped in the voluntary work carried out in the Fair Green.

“He was always a true hurling man,” said Jimmy Millea, life president of Kilmallock GAA club, who worked with John for a time at Murphy’s Brewery in Kilmallock.

“I knew John since he was about 13 years of age,” Jimmy explained.

“There is a year between us - he was 85 and I’m 86. We worked in the brewery together, Murphy’s Brewery on Lord Edward Street in Kilmallock, where Cahill’s was.

He started off there washing bottles and doing various different things and then he was promoted to driving the lorry and from that he was promoted to traveller - a rep they call them now. I was only there for a short time - around 12 months but John worked there for many years,” he added.

In his job as a salesman for Murphy’s Breweries, John promoted Kilmallock GAA and often took players to matches in his car.

He was also a fundraiser for the club and always promoted the Mackey Stand draw.

Kilmallock GAA acknowledged John’s contribution to the club in making him GAA club trustee, a Hall of Fame recipient and club president.

“He was a very genuine, likeable man,” Jimmy continued. “Nobody could say anything against him - you’d never hear anyone say a bad word about him and you’d never hear him say a bad word about anyone either.

“He was a very devout man, a very quietly spoken man but he enjoyed a good joke. He was a very reserved man, a thorough gentleman and he got on with everybody. He was respectful to everybody. He always did everything for the good of the club and for the good of Kilmallock as well.”

Mr Donegan’s funeral Mass took place at SS Peter and Paul's Church, Kilmallock this Wednesday. He was buried in Ballingaddy Cemetery.

Mr Donegan is very deeply regretted by his loving wife Kathleen, sister Mary, brother-in-law Gerry, nephews, nieces, cousins, kind neighbours and a large circle of friends.