GAA mourns the loss of faithful servant

January 19, 2015

The GAA, both locally and on a national level, has been robbed of one of its most faithful servants following the sad passing of stalwart Malachy McGeeney last weekend.

Malachy passed away at his home in Moninna Villas, Cloughreagh on Sunday last, 11th January.  A loving husband to Mona and devoted father of Ciarán and Maria, his sad demise has left a huge void, not alone within his own close family, but also within the GAA family across the county and beyond.

A life-long member of the Association, Malachy was renowned throughout Ireland for his enthusiastic and selfless contribution to the greater good of the GAA, most notably in his native county Armagh.

Many tributes have been paid to former player, coach, referee and administrator who, across the last 50+ years, held a string of official roles in dozens of committees within his club, county and province.  Some of those tributes are published elsewhere in this paper and reflect the esteem in which Malachy was held by those with whom he worked closest.

It is without doubt his immeasurable contribution to Gaelic games within his beloved Armagh that his loss will be most keenly felt.

Malachy was especially renowned for his dedication to the promotion of Gaelic games, particularly with the youth.  The Cumann na mBunscol competition, which he single-handedly established, is a legacy borne from his tireless pursuit to bring enjoyment through skills coaching to primary school age children.  Instilling a love of the sport at this level would reap rewards in the future, was his belief.

His great fondness and compassion for children was also reflected in his job as vice-Principal and later Principal of St. Peter’s Primary School, Cloughreagh, where he taught for more than 33 years until his retirement from the profession in 1997.

His empathy for the youth was further extended in his involved with the Chernobyl Children project, offering assistance through fundraising and giving freely of his time to care for visiting children, some of whom suffered from significant disabilities.

At his requiem Mass in the Church of the Good Shepherd on Tuesday, mourners heard how Malachy’s involvement in an innumerable and equally diverse range of interests touched the lives of many.  His life-long friend, Tony Kieran, delivered a moving eulogy, recalling the early years of their friendship as students in St. Patrick’s College, Armagh and during their teacher training in England.  Referring to Malachy’s deep passion for the GAA, along with their other shared interests, he spoke emotionally of the loss of his dear friend whom he described as “reliable, honest, caring and humble…simply another brother.”

Following his requiem Mass, Malachy was interred in St. Malachy’s cemetery, Carrickcruppen.

To his wife, son, daughter, grandchildren, son-in-law, sister and wider family circle, deepest sympathy is extended.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.