There is deep sadness in the Emo community and beyond this evening following the death of Pat Brophy, the hugely popular and respected former chairman, manager and player of the local GAA club.
Aged only 60, Pat was the tough-as-nails centre-back on the Laois team that won the National Football League final in 1986.
He was chairman of the Emo club as recently as 2016 and stepped aside from that role last year due to his illness.
Indeed in the summer of 2016 he played a major role in a huge Emo fundraiser which saw the club raise over €50,000 for Laois Down Syndrome thanks to their Great Solo Run which saw members of the club run from Croke Park to Kilkenny.
A retired prison officer, he was also well known in farming circles. His involvement in coaching teams inside and outside Laois over a long number of years meant he was known far and wide.
He spent time managing Crettyard and The Heath as well as his native Emo and Laois underage teams and was involved with the successful St Paul’s-The Rock juvenile teams in recent times. Outside the county, he guided Gracefield to an Offaly county final in 2002 and later was in charge of Raheen in Offaly.
As a player, he played for Laois for a number of years – and as well as the league final team of ’86 he also featured in Leinster finals in 1981 and 1985.
With his beloved Emo, he played in county finals in three different decades – 1974, 1986 and 1994, but was too young for their sole senior football triumph in 1972.
His family have also a big involvement with the club – with his sons Darren, Glen, Colm and Pakie all playing while his daughters Aisling and Emma have also been heavily involved in a variety of sports.
Pat was also an active member of Portarlington Golf Club and the County Laois Agricultural Golf Society.
Pat is survived by his wife Chrissy, sons, daughters, grand-children, extended family and a wide circle of friends.