Michael Kenny RIP - a tribute from Carrigallen GAA Club

It is with unbearable shock and sadness that the club announces the death of our beloved member Michael Kenny. Sixteen months ago Michael was diagnosed with a rare form of medically induced Leukaemia.

It is with unbearable shock and sadness that the club announces the death of our beloved member Michael Kenny. Sixteen months ago Michael was diagnosed with a rare form of medically induced Leukaemia.

It was an illness bravely borne and Michael tackled it with all the strength and determination for which he was well renowned. A bone marrow transplant followed and after many tough months of treatment and recuperation, the outlook was good and Michael could be seen once more patrolling the sidelines on matchday and the dressing rooms after training sessions, whether they be under tens or senior matches.

During the summer months, Michael was a constant, positive and exuberant presence around the club as he grasped what seemed like a second chance with great gusto. September, however, brought more news of concern for Michael and his illness had returned with renewed aggression.....

The saying goes that no one person is bigger than a club but in Michael’s case the validity and relevance of that statement could be challenged. Every player throughout the club from under eight to senior level both male and female has come under Michael’s wonderful influence over the years through his dedicated involvement in athletics and football at schools and club level.

A keen interest in health and fitness ensured that Michael was a much sought after source of advice in the event of fitness or injury concerns. His involvement brought great athletics and GAA success to St. Marys NS, Carrigallen GAA club and Ballinamore Athletics. There are many young people in the wider area who owe Michael a great deal of gratitude for his role in shaping their outlook on life and teaching them the skills of GAA or nurturing a healthy interest in athletics and healthy living in general.

His contribution to athletics and GAA in Leitrim was given overdue recognition last January when Michael was awarded a volunteer of the year award by Leitrim Sports Partnership.

Aside from the area of coaching, Michael also took great pride in the development of our wonderful new facilities at the park. From selling tickets, building design, pitch development, painting, purchasing of gym equipment, pitch maintenance, mowing, and floodlight erection, Michael was involved in everything. He led the way, along with a few others, in ensuring that there will be a fine clubhouse in Carrigallen, one the envy of all of Leitrim and beyond, which will serve many generations of players and club members.

Michael epitomised volunteerism. He epitomised integrity, determination and the ideal that everyone fulfils their potential. He epitomised all that is good in the GAA, he was the perfect clubman.

Last Saturday week, Michael was in contact in the aftermath of the under 21 victory over Drumlea. His son Anthony played a starring role in an impressive victory and Michael got a fillip from the positive result. He discussed tactics for the next round and was eager to know what the team would be.

This past weekend he was in regular contact during the quarter final and sent his congratulations to the team in the aftermath of the victory. Since the illness returned in September, Michael had given his all but sadly passed away this afternoon.

It would be remiss of me not to mention his devoted wife Mary. A lady to her fingertips, Mary has displayed amazing strength and stoicism over the last sixteen months. She continued to fulfil her duties as juvenile secretary with her usual diligence and efficiency while at the same time offering devoted assistance to Michael in his battle.

To Mary and the children Colette, Stephen, Anthony, Darren and Ciarán we offer our deepest sympathies. Michael will be a massive loss to us as a club but an even bigger loss to you as a loving husband and father. Michael’s influence on our club is very visible today and will be for many, many years to come and for that you should be extremely proud.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam