UPDATE, Saturday, Sept 12, 4.50pm: This week’s Lotto draw, scheduled to take place on Monday night, has been postponed as a mark of respect to Martin Flannery. It will now take place on Monday week, September 21, in John O’Haire’s pub. Every Saturday night, a team representing the club sells Lotto tickets in pubs around Ballinrobe – that has been postponed tonight.
UPDATE, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2.10pm:
Funeral arrangements for the late Martin Flannery have been announced. Full details HERE.
The club will form a guard of honour tomorrow evening, Sunday, when Martin’s remains are removed from the funeral home to the family home shortly after 7o’c. Our guard of honour will start at the funeral home and accompany Martin around the town, down Bridge Street and down Creagh Road to a point just beyond where he grew up on Creagh Road.
We will also form a guard of honour on Monday after 12noon Mass from St Mary’s Church, Ballinrobe, to the New Cemetery. All club members and supporters are invited to take part and, if possible, to wear club gear.
FRIDAY, Sept 11, 11pm:
Ballinrobe GAA club regrets to announce the sudden death today of a former chairman of the club Martin Flannery (66). Martin was father of the club’s current chairman Alan, while his two younger sons, Adrian and David, and daughter-in-law Eimear Grimes, are all members of the club’s executive committee. His death has cast a pall of gloom over Ballinrobe where he was an intensely popular and respected individual.
A native of Creagh Road, Ballinrobe, Martin was a lifelong member of the club, and served in a number of capacities, including as chairman and manager of the senior, junior and various under-age football teams. His wide-ranging contribution also saw him take a particular interest in the development of our facilities at Flanagan Park, and he was rightly proud of the many enhancements at the venue, including the construction of the Peter Brown Memorial Stand and match-standard floodlighting.
In recent years, he was honoured with a Hall of Fame award, and was a former winner of the Club Person of the Year accolade. A source of immense personal pride was a Mayo minor hurling championship he won with Ballinrobe in the mid-1960s.
As a young man, he worked for a number of years in the UK, before returning home to spend most of his working life as an employee of MJ Conroy & Sons Ltd construction company, before retiring last November. His work regularly took him into a number of the large pharmaceutical and medical device plants in this region where he enjoyed friendly discussion and banter about many topics, most notably Gaelic football, with acquaintances from all over the west.
The love of Gaelic games Martin instilled in his family has yielded rich dividends for our club, with Alan, Adrian and David all wearing the colours for many years. The Flannery name was involved in successes at all levels, including the Mayo intermediate championship victories of 2000 and 2002, in which Adrian played a leading role.
Alan was full-back on the Ballinrobe Community School team that won the 1990 All-Ireland senior B colleges title, with Adrian a young substitute on the squad. Alan and Adrian played at representative level for Athlone RTC (now IT Athlone) and Galway RTC (now GMIT) respectively.
The next generation of young Flannerys has started to don the maroon and yellow of the club with Alan’s sons Adam, Sean and Mark all heavily involved in our under-age structure. Indeed, Martin attended the launch last winter of our 2015 – 2020 coaching plan where the emphasis is firmly on under-age development, an approach that he readily endorsed. His brothers Pat, Enda and Johnny are all strong supporters of Ballinrobe GAA club, with Johnny playing on the club intermediate and senior teams in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Martin was a reliable man to lend a hand to any club endeavour, be it a construction project at Flanagan Park, a church gate collection or taking up ‘the gate’ at home matches. Indeed, he was always available to assist with church gate collections for other local organisations, apart from our club. A number of club events have been postponed this weekend as a mark of respect, including under-age and adult training sessions and the Mayo SFL Division 1B game against Tuar Mhic Eadaigh.
Some of Martin’s greatest work was done in Cloonliffen National School where he regularly coached the school team. He coached many fine footballers from the school, some of whom went on to represent Mayo at inter-county level, including senior, while others starred in many great Ballinrobe successes. In Kilkeeran and Rahard, he was known as a particularly generous and warm neighbour who helped out in any way he could.
Martin’s wife Eileen, formerly Walsh, is a native of Kilvendoney, Robeen, and the club extends its deepest sympathy to Eileen; sons Alan, Adrian and David; daughters-in-law Hilary, Eimear and Adrian’s partner Sinead O’Kelly; grandchildren Adam, Sean, Mark and Daniel; brothers Pat, Enda and Johnny; nephews, nieces, extended family and a wide circle of friends.
The club will give Martin a fitting send-off to recognise a man who made a very significant contribution to the sporting and community life of Ballinrobe. Funeral arrangements will be added here. May he rest in peace.
- Declan Corcoran, Vice-Chairman, Ballinrobe GAA Club