Shock and sadness at Joe Kearney’s death

The late Joe Kearney (centre) with fellow Fermoy supporters making their way to Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday, October 21, 2018, l-r: Bill Hegarty, Pat Shanahan Jerry Galvin and Dave O'Sullivan, the day the club's hurlers were crowned Cork premier intermediate hurling champions to the delight of all. (The Avondhu Archives)

There was a great sense of shock and sadness in Fermoy and across the Avondhu division when news broke of the sudden death of Joe Kearney, ‘Corrinville’, Duntaheen Road, Fermoy on July 14. The late Joe was in his 82nd year and was very well known in GAA.

He was born in Doon, Araglin. He came to Fermoy in the early 1950s and worked at Quinlan’s. He was a fine hurler and a staunch Tipperary follower. At the age of 16, he hurled for Araglin and was on the team that defeated neighbours Kilworth in the Beamish Cup final. He transferred to the Fermoy club and was on the ’58 side that won the novice hurling championship. He played Intermediate hurling for Fermoy in 1960 before emigrating to England for a number of years.

The late Joe returned to Fermoy and became involved in the club again. He served in most positions in Fermoy club being vice chairman, treasurer and chairman. Along with his brother Michael and few more they founded Fermoy Pitch & Putt Club. He was a noted pitch & putt player and along with his wife Pat won an All-Ireland Pitch & Putt fourball title. He was a driving force behind the progress of the pitch & putt club.

He was delegate to the Avondhu Juvenile Board in the early 80s. He became juvenile board vice chairman at convention in 1985 and served as board vice chairman in 1986, 1987 and 1988. He was board chairman for 1989 and 1990. During his time in the juvenile board he was a selector with various inter divisional hurling teams. In 1993 when Avondhu won the Dick Barrett Shield the late Joe was a selector.

He was manager of Fermoy U14 hurlers that won the county double hurling and football in 1992. That team went on to contest county U16 and minor finals in the later years. The late Joe was also involved in developing the squash court and gymnasium at the Fermoy club. In his time a new utility room was built, sand pitches and railing all around the field.

The late Joe Kearney presenting the Springvale Poultry Products trophy to David Nolan, Kildorrery hurling captain, after his team had beaten Fermoy in the Kildorrery Festival tournament in 1990. (The Avondhu Archives)

He was the MD of Springvale Poultry Products in Kildorrery up to his retirement. Three years ago on the death of John Fenton, the late Joe and Tommy O’Brien were appointed joint life presidents of Fermoy GAA. He was a great follower of GAA and loved to speak about Tipperary hurling teams. He got great pleasure in watching his grandsons John Wales and Cuan Kearney displaying their skills on the playing fields.

Club chairman, Brendan Keane and his longtime friend, Tommy O’Brien, spoke at the Mass of the involvement in sporting activity by Joe over many years.

The night before he died, he was at a game in Fermoy in the company of Tommy O’Brien and others. There was a guard of honour along the route from his home on Thursday as the cortege made its way to the church for requiem Mass. Interment took place in Kilcrumper Cemetery and his coffin was draped with the Fermoy colours.

To his wife, Pat, daughters Bernadette, Jacqueline, sons Kieran, Eamonn, son-in -law Geoff, fiancée Liz, partners Geoff, Liz, Ellen grandchildren, Isabelle, Elaine, John, Ross, Eoin, Ria, Cuan, brother Michael, sister Kathleen, nephews, nieces, extended family neighbours and many friends, we tender our sincere sympathy.

– Paddy Ryan