Clonguish GAA pays tribute to1981 Longford championship winning captain, the late John Blessing

Longford Leader reporter

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Tributes are being paid this evening following the death of former Clonguish GAA player John Blessing.

In 1981, John, Celbridge, Co Kildare and formerly of Newtownforbes, Co Longford, captained Clonguish to Longford senior football championship glory.

He died peacefully at the Mater Hospital surrounded by his family, yesterday, Saturday, March 6. 

John was predeceased by his wife Martina (nee O’Hara, formerly of Arva, Co Cavan) on Thursday, May 14 of last year and deepest sympathy is extended to his sons Peter and Neill, daughter Ann-Marie, grandchildren Keri, James and Abigail, sister Mary Ross (Drumlish), daughter-in-law Rachel, Keri’s mum Siobhan, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, relatives and a very large circle of friends. RIP.

In addition to his native Newtownforbes, John was a well-known personality in Kildare GAA circles.

He managed teams in Clane and Celbridge, and in 2019 was a selector in the Celbridge senior football side managed by Dubliner Paul Curran.

In a tribute posted on their Facebook page, Clonguish GAA wrote; 

"Clonguish GAA are sad to report the death of a great Clonguish player and supporter - John Blessing RIP.

"John played on all teams from underage to captaining the successful senior team of 1981 who won the County Championship.

"He represented Clonguish on County Longford teams in the 70's and 80's. 

"John supported Clonguish and Longford all his life, travelling to matches from his home in Celbridge. 

"He was also very involved in Kildare GAA playing and coaching.

"John's beloved wife Martina (O'Hara, Arva) died a few months ago and he is survived by his children Peter, Neil and Anne Marie and his sister Mary Ross (Drumlish). Ar dheis De go raibh a anam." 

Also read: Arva and Newtownforbes saddened by the death of Martina Blessing

Funeral Arrangements

Due to Government advice and restrictions regarding public gatherings and to protect our most vulnerable family members and our friends, a private family funeral will take place. We look forward to meeting everyone at a Celebration of John and Martina’s Life at a later date.

Those who would have liked to attend John’s funeral, but due to current restrictions cannot, can leave your personal messages for the family on the condolences section on RIP.ie or on www.cunninghamsfunerals.com/death-notices 

John’s Funeral cortège will leave his home on Tuesday, March 9 at 10.30am and the Mass may be viewed by following the link below on Tuesday at 11am https://www.celstra.ie/live-feed/ 
 
Family flowers only, please. Donations, if desired, to the Heart and Lung Transplant Ward, The Mater Hospital.