Longford and Cavan mourns passing of GAA stalwart and renowned community volunteer Oliver Creegan

Dromard GAA indebted to Oliver and the Creegan family for huge contribution

Longford Leader reporter

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The death occurred,  peacefully at his home, surrounded by his loving family, on Thursday, April 1 of Oliver Creegan, Carrickane, Cavan Town, Cavan.

Predeceased by his brothers, Eugene, Mike, Seamus, Pat and Johnny and his sister Sarah, sympathy is extended to Oliver’s wife Patricia, sons and daughter Damian, Rhona, Fiacre & Fergal, brother PJ (Crott, Moyne), sisters Sr Mary Rose (Los Angeles), Sr Kathleen (Los Angeles), Jean Taafe (Legga), Tess Crowe (London), Eílish Reilly (Moyne), Belinda Kirwin (Dublin), Philomena Burke (London) & Helena Molphy (Dublin), daughters-in-law Kathleen, Geraldine & Aedamar, son-in-law Brendan, his adored grandchildren Aisling, Aran, Pauric, Luke, Dara, Eve, Rory, Cliodhna, Cathal, Aoife, Oliver & Alex, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, all his relatives, good neighbours & many, many friends.

Oliver is steeped in Dromard GAA tradition and the club posted a fitting tribute on Facebook.

The club is deeply indebted to Oliver and indeed to the Creegan family for the huge contribution that they have made to Dromard GAA down through the years.  

Also read: Late Johnny Creegan was an iconic figure in Longford GAA circles

Oliver Creegan was born on March 29, 1942 to Jimmy and Katie Creegan (nee Farrelly), Crott, Moyne. His birthday was on Monday last.

He attended Pulladoey National School, Aughnacliffe, and then The Latin School, Moyne, before going on to study Agriculture at the Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry Co Limerick, where he graduated in 1961. Oliver went on to work with the Department of Agriculture from 1962 until 2006.

Oliver played minor underage football with our neighbouring Colmcille GAA club in the early 1960’s as Dromard had no minor club at that time.

He played with the County Longford minors in the early 1960's.


Oliver played for the Longford Senior team in the mid-sixties and was on the famous Longford panel that won the National League in 1966.  


After being transferred by the Department of Agriculture to Monaghan in the late sixties, Oliver won the Monaghan Senior Championship with Ballybay Pearse Brothers in 1969 beating Castleblayney 3-5 to 0-5. Paul McCarthy from Ballybay explained that the big contenders in Monaghan at that time were Castleblayney who had around seven county players in their squad. Although Oliver played cornerback, he was assigned to handle the key player on the opponent's teams, no small task giving the quality and experience of the opposition, "Ollie always played well no matter who he was assigned to marshall, and although a clean player, he was a tight player, he could more than take care of himself if the going got rough". 

The following paragraph was taken from the Anglo Celt’s coverage of that final. "They (Ballybay Pearse Brothers) had a very strong full-back line in which Oliver Creegan captured much of the limelight time and time again. His clearances were crisp and sharp and he was always there when required."


Paul explained that Oliver was a legend and very highly respected in the town and that there is an air of sadness since the news broke and particularly among his teammates who are devastated. Coincidently, two other Longford men, the great Billy Morgan and Gardai Mick Drumm also played for Ballybay, but at different times.


Oliver was involved in the early stages of setting up the Credit Union in Ballybay and often chaired meetings in the late 1960's.


Work transferred Oliver from Ballybay to Athy, Co Kildare in 1970. He played very briefly with Athy and then transferred clubs back to his beloved Dromard, commuting the long journey from Athy to Kiltycon for training and match fixtures.


Oliver won the famous Junior Championship with Dromard in 1970, their first significant victory in a long number of years. He was a "stand-out player" throughout the campaign. He also won the Junior League with Dromard in 1970. He continued to play with Dromard until the mid-seventies.  

 

In 1980 work transferred Ollie to Cavan, which took him nearer to home. In 1982 Oliver travelled and played with the Dromard team that toured New York, Connecticut, and Vancouver. 


In the mid-late 1980’s he became involved with Cavan Gaels underage club as his own family started playing. Paddy Reilly and Niall O'Riordan from Cavan Gaels talked very highly of Oliver. "No matter what job he agreed to take on, you could be sure that it would get done without having to ask twice, he was very reliable, as solid as a rock, he was a lovely gentleman, a great friend, a great volunteer in the community, he created a lasting impression.” 


He managed U16 teams and with Phil Cullen and John Beirne they also managed Cavan Gaels minor team to championship success in 1987. Interestingly Oliver's son Fergal is now a coach with Cavan Gaels and his grandchildren are now also playing with the Cavan Gaels club.


Oliver managed the successful Cavan Gaels Under 16 team in 1989. He was on the Cavan Gaels Minor Club Committee and represented the club at Cavan Minor Board Meetings and School Board Committees.  


Oliver was Captain of Cavan Golf Club in 2006. He is also a former President of the club. He was a ‘Hall of Fame’ winner with Ballybay Pearse Brothers GAA Club in 2017. He attended the event with his wife Patricia.


Oliver did voluntary work with St Vincent de Paul and was elected President of St Peter’s conference of St Vincent de Paul for several years. He also ushered in Cavan Cathedral and St Patrick and Felim Cavan, for several years. He was involved with Cavan Social Services and delivered Meals On Wheels every Sunday for many years. 


Oliver was a life-long supporter of Dromard GAA club and attended every match fixture possible up to the point where he was no longer able to do so. When he was unable to attend matches, he would ring his late brother Johnny for a full match commentary and analysis.


Funeral Arrangements 

Due to current HSE & government restrictions, Oliver's Funeral Mass & burial will be private to family only. 

Oliver's Funeral cortege will leave his home in Carrickane on Easter Monday morning, April 5 at 10.30am, travelling via Golf Links Road & Farnham Road, to arrive at the Cathedral of Saints Patrick & Felim, Cavan for Funeral Mass at 11 am. Burial will take place afterwards in Cullies cemetery. Those standing along the route are asked to observe social distancing guidelines & keep safe. The Creegan family would like to thank you all for your cooperation & understanding at this difficult time. Oliver's Funeral Mass can be viewed live on www.cavantownparish.com  House private at all times please.