Tributes have been paid to one of Laois’s greatest ever hurlers following his sad passing.
Fintan ‘Finty’ Kealy from Borris-In-Ossory passed away suddenly on Saturday morning in the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise.
Borris-In-Ossory paid tribute to the late Mr Kealy on their Facebook page yesterday.
As a hurler, Finty won honours at intermediate and senior level for Borris-In-Ossory.
He also represented Laois where he was part of the team that won Division 2 titles on two occasions.
He went on to manage his club at all levels and was still involved at administration level right up to his sad passing.
His club said: “Sadness spread among our community on Saturday morning as we learned of the sudden passing of Finty.
“Finty Kealy has been a lifelong member of our Club, playing his first game with the local school in 1949 and going on to win his first major medal with the successful Junior team in 1952 at just 19 years of age.
“Finty went on to win further honours at Intermediate in 1953 and two brilliant Senior Medals in 1956 and 1957.
“Going to work in Dublin in 1960, meant Finty could no longer play with the Club and so for the next two years played his Club hurling with the famed Faughs Club in Dublin, winning two League titles during that time.
“He was called up to the Laois Senior panel and was on the Laois Senior Panel that won two League Titles in 1959/60 and 1964/65.
“On his return to Borris, Finty became deeply involved in the running of the Club, Managing, training and selecting many teams to championship and league victories, among them the U21 titles of 1968, ’72, and ’82 and Minor Titles of 1968 and 1982, Junior Titles in 1970 and ’83 and the Club’s historic fifth Senior Win in 1972.
“He also served a term as a Laois Senior Selector and represented the club singing in the Scór competitions.
“At administration level Finty has served the club in all positions throughout the years, Chairman, Secretary, treasurer, committee member and still was the weekly Lotto committee.
“Finty’s passion and love for the Club were second to none with his contributions at committee meetings and on match days overwhelmingly well respected.
“Only this spring he made every Laois match in the hurling league, even travelling to Dublin by train on his own to see his county hurl.
“He was known and loved by young and old in the club and village, at the lotto draw every Tuesday night and chatting with the Senior hurlers after training.
“Still one of the the first at every game with his words of encouragement or ‘Good lads’ and a pat on the back to teams heading out on the field, playing a round of golf or enjoying a sing song in Kelly’s with a rendition of ‘I do like an egg for my tea’!
“The Club and all of us are all the better for his involvement, he will truly be greatly missed.
“Our sincere sympathies to Stella, Brendan, Noleen, Anne Marie, Brian, Catherine and all the Kealy family. Ar dheis de go raibh a ainm.”
Mr Kealy’s funeral details are as follows:
“Reposing at his home on Tuesday afternoon from 2.0’clock, with Rosary at 8.0’clock.
“Removal on Wednesday morning to St.Canice’s Church, Borris-in-Ossory, for Requiem Mass at 12. noon, followed by Burial in Derrinsallagh Cemetery Borris-in-Ossory.”