The death of Michael Kenny which took place in the Mater Hospital on Monday, November 19, came as a great shock to his many friends involved in sport throughout the county and wider afield.
Many were aware that Michael had been seriously ill during the latter half of last year but earlier this year he appeared to have made a good recovery and had resumed his many activities. However the illness returned early in the autumn and he passed away at the early age of fifty two.
Michael became Chairman of Ballinamore Athletic Club in April 2002 and held the position up until his death. His family had a long association with the Club with his sister Eleanor in particular having competed in major national and provincial competitions as a member of club and county teams.
His own family followed suit and only the previous Sunday his youngest son Ciaran had won a Connacht medal in Galway as a member of the club Under 14 Boys team.
During his decade of involvement as club chairman, his aim as always perfection in the performance of whatever task was in hand and no task was too difficult. When it was Ballinamore’s turn to host the Connacht Cross Country Championships each alternate year Michael was first to arrive with all the necessary equipment to set out the Course.
Likewise for the June Bank Holiday Monday Sports at St Felim’s. Michael was along on the Sunday evening to accurately measure and mark out the track.
His skill in the area of carpentry was mentioned during his Requiem Mass and this is best illustrated by the fine set of maroon and green reverse boards he made for the club so that Sports Hall athletics could take place in Ballinamore Sports Hall.
Michael, along with his wife Mary, had continued to make a wonderful contribution to the organisation of sport in the Carrigallen and Ballinamore areas as well as throughout the county over so many years with their involvement in so many aspects of Athletics, Community Games and GAA at both club and schools levels.
This was recognised by Leitrim Sports Partnership at the 2011 County Awards when he was selected as Leitrim Volunteer of the Year. As Michael was in hospital on the occasion the trophy was presented to Mary on his behalf.
A moment’s silence was also observed at last Saturday’s Leitrim Sports Star Awards as MC John Lynch recalled Michael’s award just 12 months previously.
The AGM of the Connacht Council of Athletics Ireland took place in Claremorris on the evening of his death and delegates stood for a minute’s silence after Chairman Terry Hayes paid tribute to his memory.
To his widow Mary, daughter Colette, sons Stephen, Anthony, Darren and Ciaran as well as to his sisters and extended family we express our sincere sympathy. May he Rest in Peace.