Morgan Costelloe, far right, with John Whelan, Brendan O'Dowd, Tom Clifford, at the Young Munster victory dinner in 1980
INFLUENTIAL former president of Garryowen Rugby Club and popular Limerick GP, Dr Morgan Costelloe has passed away.
Dr Costelloe, aged in his 80s, died between Thursday night and Friday morning, following an illness.
A doctor on and off the pitch, he was known to have “saved and protected the health of so many through the years”.
The Garryowen stalwart was elected president in 1984, a significant position to hold at the time as he led the club’s centenary celebrations.
Dr Costelloe, a trustee of the club, won the Junior Cup for Garryowen in 1955.
Eoghan Prendergast, vice-chairperson of the club and former president, led tributes to the late doctor this Friday morning.
“He was a real stalwart of the club. He was a trustee up to now. He was also president during the centenary year, which is one of the biggest honours you can get as a president. I was a player at the time. That was a huge honour to bestow and entrust in somebody.”
He said that the highlight of that year was when Cardiff played Garryowen at home.
“He was such a decent person and he was such a great rugby man. He had all the old values in the game. I thought that would have been the highlight of his career, and he was a good player himself.”
Mr Prendergast’s father Frank played with Dr Costelloe during that Junior Cup final victory in 1955.
Dr Costelloe, while based on Barrington Street, also had a clinic in St John’s Hospital. A respected medical professional, he was often able to bring his clinic to the pitch when the Garryowen men needed him.
“He was a very good doctor and a highly-respected doctor. If he wasn’t there, you could always pop into him. I remember going into him, and he would stitch up my eye, even still in your gear. It was never any bother with Morgan. And while he was stitching you, he’d want to know how you got on in the match.
“His health in recent years wasn’t too kind to him, but he saved and protected the health of so many through the years.”
Dr Costelloe’s sons are also involved with Garryowen.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.