The memory of Longford's Terry McCormack lives on as hundreds take part in memorial cycle

Kevin Forde

Reporter:

Kevin Forde

Email:

kevin.forde@longfordleader.ie

Terry McCormack

Some competitors at one of the recent memorial cycles held in honour of Terry McCormack PICTURE: Shelley Corcoran

The community of Killoe have come together in honour of one of the Longford’s most loved sportsmen, Terry McCormack.

Terry, who is survived by his wife Josephine and children Sean, Sineád and Padraig, was an avid football and hurling enthusiast during his time on earth, though it was rugby that truly captured his heart and his love was recognised with caps at Leinster junior level and as club captain.

Longford Rugby club was a big part of his life. Rugby was actually his first love.” Terry’s son Sean explained.

Terry played football with rival parishes Killoe and Clonguish during his distinguished GAA playing career , winning a county medal at Under 16 level, the Connolly Cup in 1981 and 1988, and an All-Ireland title with the Longford over 40’s as a player in 2000 and as player/manager in 2005.

After making the move to Killoe in 1988, Terry became immersed in all the community had to offer and won the Connolly Cup in 2012 and 2014 as Killoe team manager. His sons, Sean and Padraig, both don the Killoe jersey.

“He was used to going to war with a lot of the Killoe lads, so I think it was a welcome change for everyone to be playing with each other,” Sean laughed.

Tragedy struck for the McCormack family and community of Killoe in April 2015, however, as Terry died suddenly while out on a cycle with friends.

“He had developed a strong passion for cycling. It became a hobby and he got great enjoyment of getting up early and going out.

“Never in a million years did we expect it to happen, that it would be the last time we spoke to him,” Sean admitted.

Upon Terry’s passing, it was mentioned that he had suggested carrying out a charity cycle and from there the Terry McCormack Memorial Cycle was born. The community of Killoe quickly came together in Terry's honour and organised the first cycle in 2016. They have now celebrated their fourth annual event, which took place on Sunday April 7.

“It seemed like a perfect idea. We are carrying on something he had hoped for,” Sean told the Leader.

All funds raised as part of the cycle go to Fighting Blindness, a charity and issue which was close to Terry’s heart.

“We felt it wasn’t an area where you see much fundraising. They are relatively new, but it is such a good cause and it was in line with daddy’s wishes.”

Sean says the occasion is a bittersweet one for the family, but admitted his father would be immensely proud to see the event in his honour. He said the cycle helps the family appreciate the love and respect the people of Killoe and Clonguish have for their father.

Sean concluded, “He would have been incredibly proud. He didn’t realise how appreciated and respected he was.

“The cycle typifies the type of person daddy was. He always had great time for people and made them aware he was around. His spirit definitely lives on through it.

“I would like to thank the committee they have been fantastic. They really are the core to this year in, year out. They do great work and we can’t thank them and the community enough.”