Killeagh GAA Club

08 July, 2019



In our club we have a Club Motto – “in our club we help each other to be the best that we can be, both on and off the pitch”. It’s based on the old Gaelic concept of the ‘meitheal’, where neighbours all helped each other in turn with the harvest, thereby ensuring everyone gave and got help when needed. In our club, we’ve had five such ‘meitheals’ already in 2019 where everyone flocked to assist on what could be called our ‘harvest days’. In March we had our 4 Mile Road Race, in May we had our Family Fun Day, and in June we had two in quick succession – our Féile weekend in early June and the Ironman Event two weeks later. At each of these events many people from our club and our sister clubs – Killeagh Camogie and Inch Rovers Ladies Football – as well as others from our community with no direct affiliation to our clubs, came and volunteered their time, their baking, their help and support in a variety of ways. At each of these four meitheals, Denis O’Rourke was present – helping to park cars at the pitch, stewarding at other events, including a marathon six-hour shift in the incessant rain on Ironman Day, when he was one of the last of our stewards to stand down after the final cyclist had passed his junction at 6.00 p.m. He always put his hand up to help, always came along with a smile, a chat and a laugh (even in the pouring rain) and was a reliable and responsible team member on all of these meitheals. Unfortunately, our fifth meitheal of 2019 required our community to come together again, but this time in most difficult circumstances as we rallied around Denis’ family in their time of grief, following his unexpected passing on Thursday last, July 4th. Once again, the response was phenomenal, and underlined the worth of the fantastic people in our community – our greatest resource by far. Baking, welcoming, feeding, stewarding, directing, parking, helping, chatting, supporting – these were our tasks and they were carried through all weekend even as we struggled to comprehend the shock of Denis’ sudden passing. Our thoughts are with Olivia, Jack, Ciarán, Sorcha and the O’Rourke and Scully families at this most challenging time for them, and, little consolation that it may now be, they can be assured that they will get the best support possible from those around them in the days, months and years to come. In this time of sadness, it’s worth reflecting on a different kind of ‘meitheal’ – but this is not one single event where we all come together to help and move on once it’s over. This ‘meitheal’ is of a different kind – one that we need to mind every day – the one where we check in with our neighbour, friend, brother, sister, son, daughter, parent, aunt or uncle, team mate, work colleague or acquaintance, and check that all is ok. On a hurling or football panel, there is usually some player carrying an injury or niggle which may be short-term or longer-term, and in our community, it’s no different – some of us are carrying injuries or niggles (that may not be visible to others) that will pass in a couple of days, and others may have challenges that require longer time and greater care. As we remember Denis with fondness, let’s try and mind our meitheal.