It’s probably fair to say Kevin O’Dowd was known the lenghth and breadth of the country.
An avid horse racing supporter, the Barnacor father-of-three was a regular fixture among the crowds at point to point meetings and national hunt cards right across the midlands and beyond.
And it was perhaps with little surprise that St Mary’s Church in Lanesboro was packed to capacity at both his removal and Funeral Mass a little over three weeks ago.
Locally, the affable Newtowncashel native was arguably better known for his long held association with Longford Town Council where he worked for over 30 years.
A keen farmer in his spare time, Kevin, as one close family member poignantly remarked this week, had a “great love of the land”.
Yet it was his unstinting affection for the wider equine industry which most will undoubtedly remember him for.
Whether it was Roscommon point to point fixtures or a Sunday afternoon spent running the rule over the rising stars of steeplechasing at the likes of Kilbeggan or Ballinrobe you name it, the south Longford native was there to witness it all, race card in hand.
Off the racecourse, Kevin, like many of his peers enjoyed the occasional pint. His links to Longford town underlined this, with his favourite haunts including Longford town’s Peter Clarke’s and John Browne’s establishments.
He also mainatained a deep appreciation for politics and was a keen Fine Gael supporter.
Attendances at both services were unsurprisingly large in number, leading a family member to issue a sincere thank you to all who lined out to pay their respects.
“They (congregation) came from every by-road and corner of the country and for that we are extremely grateful,” she said.
The late Kevin O’Dowd was laid to rest inside the grounds of Cashel Cemetery on Wednesday March 27 last.
He is survived by his wife Margaret, son Michael, daughters Marie and Deirdre, Sorcha and grandson Traolach, relatives and many friends.