Home Deaths Sadness at death of Fintan Walsh, former Laois football great

Sadness at death of Fintan Walsh, former Laois football great

Fintan Walsh

The death has occurred of Fintan Walsh from Ballylinan, roundly regarded as one of the finest Laois footballers of all time.

Aged in his mid 80s, he had been living in Butterfield in Rathfarnham in Dublin since the mid 1960s, where he was a much-loved local primary school teacher in St Mary’s BNS and involved in the early years of the Ballyboden-St Enda’s club in the 1970s.

For many years he was a leading figure in Dublin Cumann na mBunscol and served on Cumann na mBunscol’s national executive.

Fintan played for Laois from 1954 to 1968, playing in Leinster finals in ’59 and ’63 and winning Railway Cups with Leinster in 1959 and 1961.

In 1999 he was named at left-half forward on the Laois football team of the millennium. In 2015, he was inducted into the Laois GAA Hall of Fame.

Indeed he was a true dual star, also representing the Laois hurlers at senior level. He won Senior hurling championships with Clonad and was a past student of Knockbeg College, with whom he won both Leinster Senior ‘A’ hurling and football titles in 1955.

He also had the distinction of captaining the St Patrick’s Teacher Training College team (known as Erins Hope) to Dublin Senior football championship glory in 1956, beating the famed St Vincent’s club in the final.

With his native Ballylinan he played a leading role when the club won the Laois Junior football title in 1956 and Intermediate titles in 1957 and 1961.

Though he lived in Dublin for almost all his adult life, Fintan retained close contact with home, being a member of the Laois Association in Dublin and serving as president of the Knockbeg College past pupils group.

“Everybody in Ballylinan is hugely proud of Fintan’s achievements for club, county and province and his name always comes to the fore when discussions of great gaelic footballers arise in the village,” said the Ballylinan club in a post on social media.

“Fintan never forgot his roots and he was always a very welcome figure at Club games and functions in Ballylinan as well as a regular attendee at Knockbeg and Laois games.”

Fintan Walsh
Fintan Walsh with Laois GAA chairman Gerry Kavanagh in 2015, when he was inducted into the Laois GAA Hall of Fame

Fintan passed away peacefully, in St James’ Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.

Predeceased by his infant son Maurice, he was the beloved husband of Máirín, adored father of Adrian and Niamh, and devoted grandad of Finn, Áine, Maya, Julia, Ronan and Mary-Kate.

Fintan will be deeply missed and remembered always by his loving family, his daughter-in-law Niamh, his son-in-law Danny, his brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces, nephews, relatives and a wide circle of friends.

Funeral arrangements to follow.

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