- John J
Doyle who passed away on 14 June 2010
A dedicated man at
the heart of everything in his GAA club.
By Paul Donaghy, Carlow People,
Tuesday June 22nd 2010.
NO SPORTING organisation can survive and progress
without the dedication and sacrifice of many who make
its heart tick; men and women who look beyond their own
cubicle to advance their choice of sport and help in the
promotion and development of the younger corps.
John J. Doyle of Clonmore, who was buried on
Wednesday, 16 June, was one of that phalanx, he having
contributed immeasurably to his local club, Bord na nOg
and the county administration, and of course his
community. And he was one of the first welcoming faces
this, then young, scribe met when arriving in a new
county without any social or sporting connections – in a
communications isolation for a spell if you like.
The John Doyles of sport don't rant or boast, nor
demand special treatment, but accept the democratic
rule, but to me he was one of the gentlemen of sport in
this county, quiet-spoken with never a sour word for
those who did not share his opinion. He treated all with
respect and never caused a breach of dignity in
discussion; none leaving his company feeling the point
had been lost.
John Doyle back then was Clonmore; its founder and
heart; the fulcrum of everything which happened around
Hacketstown. The man from Marian Terrace formed Clonmore
GFC in '47 in concert with Dan Donoghue then chairman,
secretary Michael Donoghue, Larry Kenny Michael Connolly
Jim Kehoe and Jim Doyle.
He was to the forefront of the purchase of the
present venue – Woodside - from the Land Commission for
a very favourable £1,200; and after years of development
the venue was officially opened by GAA president Paddy
Buggy in '84. John not only formed the club but was on
the team which won the JFC in '50; then the club's
premier fifteen. Their No. 11 soldiered for a decade but
his career was on the wane just before Clonmore won
back-to-back county senior championships in '55 and '56
defeating the powerful O'Hanrahans in both finals.
The No 11 jersey was draped on his coffin at his
funeral as well as a county shirt identifying John's
contribution to the greater county good; his gift really
through eight years as secretary of Bord na nOg and of
course a term as assistant county secretary in the '60s,
and two stints as chairman, as well as acting as
Carlow's Leinster Council delegate.
He had an even a more influential role in Carlow in
the late '50s as a senior football selector (spanning a
decade) which included the '54 Carlow/Mayo National
Football League final. Secretary of Clonmore GFC for a
record 28 years, JJ was finally recognised, countywide,
for his tremendous involvement when voted Hall of Fame
winner by the Co. Carlow GAA selectors in '91.
He guided Clonmore through several 'homes' including
Vermount, Kilmacart and The Curragh; players having to
cross the river to train at the second named field.
"No job was too big or too small, and when it came to
levelling the new field at Woodside I was only the lad
to John who did it all then," said fellow clubman Eddie
Forde at John's funeral. But there were other interests
in the live of John J Doyle.
President of Clonmore after his withdrawal from
administrative roles, he was a member of the Pioneer
Total Abstinence Association and involved in FAS
employment locally and was an Eucharistic minister and
for 44 years was a reader at the Easter Passion. One of
his sons, Ger, was Clonmore's excellent club PRO for
many years, and for his contribution received the club's
member-of-the-year accolade for '09; that recognition
covering many years of Clonmore exposure.
In commercial life John began his working career in
Bagenalstown before returning to Hacketstown to manage
Duffy's Cash and Carry, subsequently taken over by
Perry's – a role he played for six decades.
It was fitting that his contribution to the formation
of young talent and character should be acknowledged by
a guard of honour of local boys and girls at his
John is survived by his wife Jane and brother Tommy
(London) the youngest of the family, (brothers Benny and
Paddy predeceasing him), sons Sean, Peter, Jody, Ger and
daughters Mary,Trudi, Joan, Majella and Fiona.