The GAA world was shocked yesterday evening with the news of the tragic death of Lester Ryan, the Kilkenny man who was known across the country.
He was killed in a road accident near his home in Gowran in Kilkenny when he was hit by a tractor while out cycling on Saturday afternoon.
Emergency services were called but it’s believed he died at the scene. He was 61.
Lester worked as a coach for the Leinster Council, whose offices are in Portlaoise, and was a highly-regarded in his position. He only retired two years ago. His nephew Lester captained Kilkenny to All Ireland glory in 2014.
He was particularly well known in Laois as he was responsible for coaching in the county at one stage.
A father of three, he played senior hurling for Kilkenny, winning three Leinster titles and featuring in two All Ireland finals.
Laois GAA chairman Peter O’Neill paid tribute to Lester.
“I got to know Lester through his work with Feile. He acted as Secretary when I Chaired a Feile and Feile Na nOg.
“He was also involved when Feile and Feile na nOg was held in Laois.
“A most unassuming man he would be seen all the time at games with son Conor by his side. He never had a bad word for anyone and was absolutely overjoyed with Laois’s success in Joe Mc Donagh.
“To his family, his club and his friends, to which I counted myself lucky to be one, I extend on behalf of Laois Gaels and Gaels everywhere our sincere sympathies. There will be plenty of hurling played in heaven tonight. A Chara Lester Rest well.”