Club Notes Week ending Jan 11th

November 8, 2018


by Pearse Daly

We regret to record the death of Tom Donohoe, Cleenrath, Aughnacliffe, president of Colmcille GAA club which took place at the general hospital, Mullingar. He was an esteemed member of the local farming community and will long be remembered especially in the Aughnacliffe area for performing many neighbourly deeds and kind acts throughout his lifetime. Tom’s association with the GAA in Colmcille goes back to the mid nineteen forties. Although he played very little football he has been it’s most dedicated administrator and on at least three occasions was chairman when co championships, Leader Cups, tournaments and major trophies arrived at the crossroads. Tom had a thorough knowledge of every aspect of the game, gained from watching football for almost half a century. Whether the team was winning or going through a bad patch no job was to big for him to tackle. He always made sure that when Colmcille had a home fixture the pitch would be marked out to perfection from the previous evening. He came into prominence when his efforts in caring for the minors bore fruit in 1950. Leitrim co librarian Sean O’Suilleabhain in his Sceal Club Colmcille tells us that this minor team had it’s origins in Sonny Moore’s field in Cleenrath when Tom and others from the locality started to kick football in the field beside the Garda Station. They affiliated a team which traveled to matches on bikes to various venues eventually reaching the minor league final for the first time on 3rd September 1950, defeating Rathcline 2-9 to 0-4. This initial success continued when they annexed the minor championship in 1953 and the minor league for the second time in 1956. Sean says that so much was achieved in the 1950s when Tom was to the fore, that one could write as much about that period as about all the decades put together. Various competitions were won at every level including juvenile, junior, senior etc. Like in many situations it is hard to recognise good times when they are there and hard to get back to them when they are gone. He concludes that Colmcille people seldom recall how successful a football club they had then but the facts speak for themselves. There is little doubt that Tom Donohoe was a great hearted person who kept the GAA flag flying in his native parish during the good times and the bad times and he can now look down in pride from his heavenly home with the years of service he gave to Colmcille football. Tom’s interests were not confined to the GAA as he played a major part in the provision of a group water scheme for Aughnacliffe. A man of strong faith Mass and the Sacraments were an integral part of his life. In declining health for the past few years the deceased passed peacefully away on Sunday surrounded by his family. His remains were received at Colmcille Church on Thursday 8th January and following concelebrated Mass on Friday he was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery. Included in the huge crowds which thronged the Church and it’s precincts was a guard of honour from the Colmcille GAA club. Taking part in the funeral ceremonies was his brother Rev Fr Philip Donohoe , pastor of St James Church, South Blackwelder, Oaklahoma USA; Rev Fr Seamus McKeon, PP Colmcille; Rev Fr Pauric McGowan PP Ballymahon and Rev Fr Peter Beglan, Ballinalee. Deepest saympathy is extended to his sorrowing family, wife Eilish; sons Ciaran in Cleenrath, Patrick in London; Annie Marie and Breege, Lanesboro; Mary in Boyle, Elsie in Galway, nephews, nieces , grandchildren. Ar dheis De go raiba anam dilis.