Tributes paid to 'Gentleman' of UL Sport Dr. PJ Smyth

Donn O'Sullivan

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Donn O'Sullivan

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Tributes paid to 'Gentleman' of UL Sport Dr. PJ Smyth

Dr PJ Smyth formerly of UL Sport

TRIBUTES have been paid to Dr. PJ Smyth, formerly of the Dept. Physical Education & Sports Science U.L.

The former Garryowen FC rugby player, was seen by many as an innovator in the World of sports science education as we know it today. 

Current Director of Sport at UL, Dave Mahey, a former pupil of Dr Smyth, told the Limerick Leader this week that Smyth’s legacy can be seen in Irish sport to this very day.

“He was a gentleman first and foremost” commented Mahedy. “He lectured in a way was infectious. He was inspiring to us as students. He would have had huge influence on the careers of people like myself, Eddie O’Sullivan, Liam Hennessy, Brian Mulllins and many many more. Dr Smyth would always have a word for anyone, whichever sport they played. I remember him talking about sports pyschology, years before it became the ‘norm’ for teams. He was a true innovator” Mahedy added.

Eugene Wall, President of Mary Immaculate College Limerick added this tribute on social media – 

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr P J Smyth of UL. He was gracious, gentle, self-effacing and unfailingly dignified. RIP”

UL Beo added

“Deeply saddened by the loss of our great friend, colleague, mentor and inspiration Dr. PJ Smyth”

Colin Moran of the IRFU and one of Ireland’s top level coaching mentors commented

“So sorry to hear of the all-too-early passing of Dr. PJ Smyth. A wonderful lecturer of mine and a great man. May he Rest in Peace.”

Current Limerick Hurling coach Paul Kinnerk posted 

“Very sad to hear of the passing of Dr PJ Smyth.A master of his field, a huge hit with all of his students and always giving of his time. RIP”

The West Coast Eagles Australian Rules Football Club in Perth, Australia mourn the passing of Dr Phil Smyth (“PJ”).

PJ was instrumental in establishing an internship for sports science students of UL with the West Coast Eagles in 2001. This program has run since and one that is most valued by the players and staff of the Club.

PJ visited the Club for this inaugural year and has followed it with an active interest since. West Coast have employed 15 students since then.

In 2013, the club visited Limerick where PJ took staff on the “grand tour” and reaffirmed the great connection between Limerick and West Coast

A wonderful man, whose enthusiasm to educate and better others was a unique and unsurpassed quality

Our sympathy to his family, friends and, of course, his students who were blessed to have him touch their lives

Funeral details for Dr Smyth are below. 

P.J. passed away in the wonderful care, love, and compassion of the professional staff at Roseville Nursing Home, Limerick. Formerly of Dept. Physical Education & Sports Science U.L, Bective Ranger F.C & Garryowen F.C. Predeceased by his parents Noel & Bernadette and sister Roisín. Deeply regretted by his brothers Brendan (USA), Brian (Perth), and Frank, brother-in-law Colin, sisters-in-law Mary, Margaret and Anne, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and a large circle of friends.

Reposing at Griffin’s Funeral Home, John’s Gate on Tuesday (Aug. 1st) from 5pm to 6.30pm. Funeral arriving at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Milford on Wednesday (Aug. 2nd) for 11.30am Mass. Burial afterwards in Kilmurry Cemetery.