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Tony Coleman

Tony’s passing creates a huge void in our club

You only have to go into the list of messages of condolence on

RIP to establish just how popular and highly respected Tony

Coleman was. Not only are there kind words from friends,

family and former work colleagues, but, as you would expect,

the GAA fraternity at large. And among the latter are

representatives of clubs around the town, along with our own.

Tony, who died on Friday at just over 88 years of age, gave our

club outstanding service, going back to when he was a boy. He

couldn’t really have avoided being involved. Two of his uncles,

Willie Lawless and Paddy Coleman, were founder-members, in

1928, and in supporting the blue-and-while, he was following in

the footsteps of his older brother, Seanie, who passed away last

year and the wonderful age of 91.

While he wasn’t a regular on our football teams, instead

concentrating on the administrative side of things, doing

phenomenal work at fund-raising level, in particular. But he had

his moments on the field, taking great satisfaction telling us

one night about his scoring feat in a junior match many years


The chat was on a famous Louth goalkeeper, and when we had

all finished singing the praises of the No 1, Tony quietly

reminded us that he “stuck three past him one day”.

That the club is in a steady financial state can be attributed to

the a solid fund-raising drive that’s always been part of our

activity. Until illness curtailed his activities, Tony was a major

contributor, his support for draws, walks and, in particular, the

lotto difficult to quantify. If there was someone in PJ Carrolls –

where Tony worked – who wasn’t subscribing to the lotto, it

could only have been because he or she wasn’t on talking terms

with our ace collector.

A number of years back, the County Board asked each club to

name its most valuable member. We had no hesitation in

forwarding Tony’s name. On the presentation night, he did us

proud by making an impromptu speech on behalf of all the

winners. It the scheme had been made an annual affair, there’s

little doubt he’d have been on the podium many more times on

our behalf.

When he wasn’t totally enmeshed in Gaels affairs, Tony would

be looking after his greyhounds. For many years he kept a few

out the back of his house in Pearse Park, having learnt the

training game’s rudiments from his uncle, Willie, who, in his

time kept a very successful kennel in Mulholland Avenue.

Laroline, which he trained for PJ Carrolls colleague, Dessie

McDonnell, was one of his best ever, the handsome black

winning many races, one of them the final of the prestigious

Cambridgeshire, at Shelbourne Park. There were others who hit

the mark, helping Tony to often hit the bookies.

Tony’s passing leaves a big void in the club. He may not have

been as active as usual in recent years due to his illness, only

occasionally coming about Pairc na nGael: but he was never far

from his thoughts, and there was rarely a gathering at which his

name wasn’t mentioned.

Our sympathy goes to the boys, Anto, Eddie, Peter and Shane,

the girls, Rita, Joan and Deborah, Tony’s brothers, Gerry and

Ollie, sisters, Maura, Eileen, Peggy and Theresa, his

grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many other

relatives and friends.

We were proud to provide Tony with a guard of honour on his

removal to St Patrick’s Church and at his funeral in St Patrick’s

Cemetery. His coffin was draped in the club’s colours.

by Joe Carroll



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