Although he had been ill for some time, the death of local man Tommy Flanagan brought an air of shock and sadness over a broad area of county Longford.
Tommy who was in his 86th year died at his home in Derryadd on Saturday, April 3.
Tommy as he was know all his life was a GAA icon to all and sundry who had the pleasure of knowing hie going back to his early teenage years. He was known as a perfect gentleman in sporting, social and occupational circles.
Tommy began his GAA affiliation during his early teens when he lined out for Ballymahon minor club during the early fifties. After his term with Leo Casey's he joined the Kenagh club to line out with the newly formed team of the early sixties an affiliation that was to last his lifetime. He played in goals with the Kenagh club.
After his retirement from the playing field, he continued with the administration of his beloved club. Tommy proved to be a very dedicated and dependable executive officer. In fact he held almost every position from PRO to President. Incidentally Tommy was President of Kenagh GAA club at the time of his death.
After he retired from the field of play, Tommy took up the whistle and notebook to become a very efficient and fair referee having taken control of many club games throughout the county.
With the passing of years Tommy continued to be involved at local level giving all his spare time to development of club facilities.
He played a big part in acquiring the present playing pitches and developing them to what they are today, equal to the best in the county.
Another feather in Tommy's cap was his participation in Scor, (in other words the socal side of GAA). He was a member of the Scor Quiz, along with mates Liam Mulvihill and yours truly when way back in 1971 we won the County final after a memorable night in the Temperance Hall.
We went on to win the Leinster final in Dublin which brought us to the All-Ireland final in Liberty Hall, Dublin before a crowd of about 3,000. It was a memorable night when we rubbed shoulders with the big names of the GAA. Famous commentator Michael O'Heir was in charge of the stage on that night. Unfortunately, the Kenagh team were beaten by just two marks. No doubt a pleasant memory of Tommy's social life.
Alongside his GAA involvement Tommy was a great family man, a great provider, he worked in various positions alongside his farming commitments.
He worked in both Ballymahon and Granard cattle marts for a long number of years. He also worked for the Department of Agriculture during the Warble fly eradication scheme.
Like his sporting years he always gave a good account of himself with honest endeavour. A good family man dedicated to his children and late wife Ann.
Alongside his outdoor activities he was always available for their domestic needs by providing a good home and an outdoor life, also a good neighbour and community activist. If he could at all he was always willing to help out. We will miss him as a friend from early schooldays and social life down the years.
We offer our sincere sympathy to his sons Kevin, Brendan and Leo, daugters Helen and Carmel, he was predeceased by his wife Ann; sister Breege Quinn, grandchildren, especially Adam and Millie who he helped to rear; brother-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, cousins, neighbours and many close friends. He was interred in Shrule cemetery after his funeral Mass in St Dominic's church, Kenagh on Monday, April 5, under Covid regulations.