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Renowned Portarlington GAA man who lined out for Offaly and Kildare passes away

The death has occurred of Matt ‘Mattie’ Colgan who was widely known and respected in GAA and sporting circles across Offaly, Laois and Kildare.

Matt had bravely battled an illness for years and spoke openly about how his love of sport kept him going on difficult days.

In a candid interview with the Sunday Independent last year he spoke of the challenges and treatments for his rare condition, myelofibrosis (MF), one of a group of rare blood cancers -myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

All three main types are the result of abnormal cell production by the bone marrow.

Matt was being treated at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore and spoke highly of the care he received from the specialist cancer unit there.

Originally from Portarlington, he kicked football successfully with Gracefield at senior level, before getting married and moving to Monasterevin in 1973, where he also won a senior football championship title in 1977, lining out alongside the likes of brothers Hugh and Dave Hyland and Bob Harrison beside him in the full forward line.

During his playing career Matt competed at inter-county for both Offaly and Kildare.

In more recent years Matt was a popular member of the Colgan Sports staff, owned by one of his brothers Aidan.

Matt himself had trained as a fitter-turner as a young man and went on to work in engineering most of his life, initially in the highly specialised precision engineering firm, Holmes Engineering at Dublin Road, Monasterevin.

Formerly from Annamoe, Portarlington Co. Offaly Matt died peacefully at home in St. Evin’s Park, Monasterevin surrounded by his loving family.

He was predeceased by his daughter Rachel (2003) and his son Andrew (2017), and was the dearly loved husband of Mary and father of Niall and Adrian.

He will be sadly missed by his loving wife, children, grandchildren, brothers Seán, J.J, and Aidan; sisters Mary and Martina, daughter-in-law Veronica, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

He will be reposing at his residence in St. Evin’s Park this evening, Thursday from 7pm with Rosary at 9pm.

Reposing at his residence on Friday from 2pm with Rosary at 8pm. Removal on Saturday at 1:20pm arriving SS Peter and Paul’s Church, Monasterevin for Requiem Mass at 2pm. Funeral afterwards to St Evin’s Cemetery, Monasterevin.

Family flowers only please. Donations if desired to the oncology department at Tullamore Hospital or Kildare Hospice.

May he Rest in Peace.

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John Whelan has been a journalist, commentator, columnist, political analyst, campaigner, politician and publisher ever since he was 17. Having been Editor of the Leinster Express, Offaly Express and the Leinster Leader he has also contributed extensively on a number of issues to all of the country's flagship titles and programmes including the Irish Press, The Irish Independent, the Star, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post, The Sunday Times and Prime Time. He is founder of Communicate Ireland a PR, public affairs, event management and media services company. He is the author of the popular camping blog, Vanhalla - Camper Heaven.