The family of Mary Julia Keane (nee Moran), Lavace, The Neale, who passed away yesterday (Thursday), has made an enormous contribution to Ballinrobe GAA Club.
Mrs Keane, aged 97, enjoyed a long and fulfilling life and was much loved by family, neighbours and friends. She passed away peacefully at Friars Lodge Nursing Home, Ballinrobe., after enjoying excellent health almost to the very end. She stayed up to date with current affairs. “She was alive for almost every parliament in Ireland’s history” remarked one of her sons as they reflected on a long life well lived.
Mrs Keane’s sons Michael and Dermot are former senior officers, team managers and selectors in Ballinrobe GAA Club, along with being significant contributors to the local sporting and education landscapes as teachers in Ballinrobe CBS and Cloonliffen National Schools. Dermot and Michael both chaired Ballinrobe GAA Club, and Michael also fulfilled a three-year stint as club secretary.
Although both are now retired from teaching, their legacy lives on. Indeed, the historic appearance earlier this month of St Joseph’s Primary School, Ballinrobe, in the Cumann na mBunscol Mayo Division One boys’ and girls’ football finals evoked memories of many great primary school battles and victories from years gone by.
Dermot was a tireless promoter of primary schools throughout Ireland through his involvement in Cumann na mBunscol.
The next generation donned the Ballinrobe jersey with distinction – Michael’s sons Micheál and Ruairi both featured on the Ballinrobe teams that won the Mayo U21 and Intermediate Championships in 2000 and the Mayo Intermediate Championship again in 2002. Both played for Ballinrobe for many years, and also lined out for Mayo – Ruairi captained the county to win the 2000 Connacht Minor Championship and led the team out on All-Ireland final day, where they lost to Cork. Micheál played on the Mayo team that won the 2001 Connacht U21 Championship before losing the subsequent All-Ireland final to Tyrone.
Ruairi and Micheál also played on the Ballinrobe Community School team that won the All-Ireland Senior B Football Championship in 1999, and Micheál won a Sigerson Cup medal with NUI Galway.
Dermot’s son Conor is now a cornerstone of our Intermediate team and, as a sports and fitness professional, he has helped with the preparation with many teams within the club. His brother Stephen also played for Ballinrobe.
Another grandson, Diarmuid Finnerty, son of Tom and Patricia (formerly Keane) Finnerty, played on the Ballinrobe team that won the 2006 Mayo Minor B Championship, defeating Aghamore in a thrilling final. His father Tom was a mentor on that team.
Great-grandchildren Max and Catherine Humphreys are up-and-coming members of our Robe Rockets under-age structure and have started to wear the maroon and yellow jersey. Michael’s daughter Sinead has served as a physiotherapist for numerous Ballinrobe teams.
Tonight’s 50:50 draw, scheduled for John O’Connor’s Bar, has been postponed as a mark of respect to Mary Julia Keane. Funeral arrangements take place today (Friday) and tomorrow, and details are available HERE. We extend our deepest sympathy to her wide circle of family and friends.
- Declan Corcoran, Chairperson, Ballinrobe GAA Club.