Condolences Thread

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Bord na Mona man
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Condolences Thread

Post by Bord na Mona man »

I think it is worth starting a dedicated topic to remember the passing of some Offaly GAA people.

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Re: Condolences Thread

Post by Bord na Mona man »

Johnny Flaherty RIP. ... 88749.html

Offaly GAA in mourning as legendary All-Ireland-winning hurler Johnny Flaherty passes away

Michael Verney
Today at 10:36
Offaly GAA has been plunged into sadness after the passing of legendary Faithful hurler Johnny Flaherty following a brave battle with illness.
Flaherty helped to alter the course of Offaly GAA history forever with his crucial goal at the end of the 1981 All-Ireland SHC final, helping to bring the Liam MacCarthy Cup back to the midlanders for the first time.

The Kinnitty attacker, a supremely stylish and one of the finest stickmen of his generation, returned from America towards the end of his county career and that was one of the catalysts to Offaly's rising as he played his part in a first Leinster SHC success in 1980.

Flaherty bagged two goals that day as Offaly finally got the better of Kilkenny, while things got even better a year later when provincial honours were followed by All-Ireland glory and it was Flaherty's late heroics that helped to prise Liam MacCarthy from Galway's grasp.

Who can ever forget Micheál O'Hehir's commentary as the tide turned in Offaly's favour and Flaherty palmed the ball to the net before pandemonium ensued minutes later as Offaly supporters took over Croke Park at the final whistle.

"Iggy Clarke gets the ball way out the field, out the field where Pat Delaney goes up for it and Pat Delaney grabs it. Pat's going up the field now, three men about to descend on him, make that four," O'Hehir famously said.

"In now to Brendan Bermingham, Bermingham in to Flaherty, Flaherty is inside and the ball is in the net it's a goal. Offaly are in the lead, Johnny Flaherty. There he is Johnny Flaherty putting Offaly in the lead in the closing stages of the game."

Flaherty, who passed away in his mid 70s, will have his name forever etched in GAA history after his feats on the pitch, while the All-Star forward's charisma off it marked him out as one of the great GAA personalities.

Less than 18 months ago, he also showed his nous with a golf club in hand when making a hole-in-one on a par-four at the famous Esker Hills Golf Club in Tullamore during his own President’s Prize for the All-Ireland Hurlers Golf Society.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a Anam.

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Re: Condolences Thread

Post by Doon Exile »

RIP Johnny. One of the best.
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Re: Condolences Thread

Post by biffinbanner »

let go of me now and puck out the ball the words he said to the galway goalie after he scored the goal.. he was a supremely skilled hurler. rip.

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Re: Condolences Thread

Post by frankthetank »

An amazingly gifted hurler. A joy to watch. One of the greatest forwards to ever grace the game.

1 All Ireland SHC 1981
2 Leinster SHC 1980, 1981.
6 Offaly SHC 1967, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985
1 All Star 1981
Corner Forward on the Offaly Team of the Millenium.

But his infectious enthusiasm for the game was hus greatest legacy.

RIP Johnny. There will never be another. The Slieve Blooms lie quiet tonight.

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Johnny Flaherty RIP

Post by Plain of the Herbs »

God be good to Johnny, a wonderfully artistic hurler who gave us arguably Offaly’s greatest moment (that goal), but was also instrumental on the road to getting there.

Frankthetank has given the team honours. Along the way, there were 26 championship appearances (scoring 14-55), 40 NHL appearances (scoring 8-71) and 5 Walsh Cup appearances (scoring 1-8). And he left the field scoreless in just 10 of those 71 games, and just once in the championship.

His Offaly career was split in two. The first from 1966 to 1974. An Offaly Minor in 1965, he was three years an Offaly U21, scoring 1-4 against Kilkenny in his last year at U21. A goalscoring Senior championship debut in 1967 when still 19; a league debut against Waterford in November 1966 when he scored 0-4 and followed up with 0-3 in the groundbreaking win over Tipperary a fortnight later. In that period, he scored 5-26 in 12 games. Offaly flew him home from America in 1973 and he scored 1-3 against Wexford, and again a year later when he notched 1-4 against Kilkenny.

Kinnitty brought him home for 1978’s County final against St Rynagh’s, something that reignited his Offaly career. His appearance against Wexford in 1979’s Leinster final ended a 5 year hiatus. He scored a goal that day too, but Offaly fell to a single point defeat. His 1-5 against Laois and 0-4 against Dublin saw Offaly reach 1980’s Leinster final. His opportunist first half goal settled Offaly (reacting to a rebound off a post), the second put his county into a commanding position as the game entered the final crucial moments.

Obviously everyone will remember that goal. But before that was a point that showed his wonderful stickmanship, and the pass that placed Pat Carroll for Offaly’s opening goal showed his vision and awareness. And before that again was a 1-2 tally in the Leinster final against Wexford, the goal a typical fetch and handpass to the net. He generally spent his winters in the US in the early 80s, and Offaly supporters could breath that bit easier on hearing “Flaherty is home” when spring sprung.

There were tallies 1-3 in both draw and replay against Laois in 1982, and another 1-3 in 1983 against Dublin. And even on his Offaly swansong, there was a 2-2 tally in a league game against Dublin in Croke Park on the Sunday after Kinnitty’s Senior final win over St Rynagh’s.

Ní beidh a leithéad ann arís
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.

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Re: Condolences Thread

Post by wonka »

article by Paul Rouse in the Examiner:

It’s 1967.

Kinnitty have just come up from junior the previous year and are playing Coolderry, the pre-eminent power in Offaly hurling, in the senior hurling final in Birr.

Johnny Flaherty is hardly out of minor, but he is already a genius. When the game is there to be won, he wins it. He scores all eight of his team's points – and the decisive goal at the end.

That evening, he is with the players when they arrive back into Kinnitty, a small village in the Slieve Bloom mountains. It is their first senior success in four decades.

The captain of the team is carried shoulder-high, with the cup, down the village. Almost everyone in the crowd is carrying a sod of turf. The sods have been dipped in oil and are all now ablaze. It is a torch-lit procession Offaly-style.

One of the young boys carrying a sod of turf is Ger Coughlan. He is 11 years old. Inspired by the day from beginning to end, Young Ger will play beside an older Johnny when Kinnitty win five more Offaly championships at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s.


It’s 1969.

Offaly are playing Wexford in the Leinster semi-final. Wexford run out onto Croke Park as the defending All-Ireland champions.

An hour and a half later they leave stunned. Offaly score five goals to win by five points. Johnny Flaherty scores 1-3 and Offaly are into their first Leinster final since 1928.

At the end of July, they play Kilkenny, captained by Eddie Keher, and with other stars in their ranks such as Pat Henderson, Ollie Walsh, Ted Carroll, `Pa' Dillon, Jim Treacy, Martin Coogan and Paddy Delaney.

It is a good match and Flaherty scores 0-3. Offaly are leading with seven minutes left but Paddy Delaney scores his third goal and Offaly lose by two points – 3-9 to 0-16.

Kilkenny go on and win the All-Ireland.

The Offaly team breaks up. Johnny Flaherty heads off to America for most of the 1970s. He works in New York as a carpenter, in Alaska on the oll pipelines and then spends time down in San Francisco.

He goes to see the All-star hurlers play when they come over. The hunger for hurling has never left him.

So he goes home and helps Kinnitty win the Offaly senior hurling championship. By 1979 he’s back in the Offaly team.

A new generation have come through, winning a Leinster Under 21 championship in 1978.


It’s 1980.

Kilkenny are big favourites for the Leinster final. Only 9,000 people are in Croke Park.

In an extraordinary match, Offaly match Kilkenny blow for blow and are leading by a point with time almost up.

Everything is frantic. Offaly are holding on, just about, as they try and win the Leinster senior hurling championship for the first time.

Kilkenny are driving and driving again. A ball drops in front of the Offaly goal. There’s timber everywhere. It comes to Matt Ruth. He shoots for the equaliser. He’s blocked. There’s more timber, more bodies, more mayhem.

The ball comes to Johnny Flaherty. He’s wearing 15 and has already scored two goals. But now he’s back in the half back line. He flicks the ball up and spins out towards the sideline. He throws the ball on the hurl and heads up the field.

He’s about to cross halfway when the full-time whistle blows. Johnny Flaherty is about to shoot a point into the Railway End goal. Instead, he jumps into the arms of the Offaly subs and selectors and anyone else who is in front of the dugout.

It will never again be said that Offaly have not beaten Kilkenny in championship hurling.

The wildness of the presentation of the Bob O’Keeffe Cup is unmatched and unmatchable. Johnny Flaherty is bleeding from above a right eye as he stands elated in front of Pádraig Horan as he raises the cup.

Johnny Flaherty of Offaly in action against Sylvie Linnane, left, and Seamus Coen of Galway during the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final match between Offaly and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Johnny Flaherty of Offaly in action against Sylvie Linnane, left, and Seamus Coen of Galway during the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final match between Offaly and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

It’s 1981.

At half-time in the All-Ireland final, Offaly are getting a hiding from Galway. They are trailing by 0-13 to 1-4. It would have been an awful lot worse but audacious skill and vision from Johnny Flaherty had set up a goal for Pat Carroll.

Con Houlihan writes: “If anyone tells you he foresaw the second half, he is either a prophet or a liar.”

Slowly, though, Offaly pulled themselves back into the game and with five minutes remaining were back to within three points.

A ball heads towards the Canal End, into the corner in front of the Cusack Stand. Flaherty gets there first. He bobs and weaves with the ball on his hurl. He takes it back into his hand, eyes darting everywhere, looking to create a goal. There is none available.

The ball goes back on the hurl and he dodges away from two Galway men. He’s 25 yards out now, perfectly balanced, and strikes the ball off the hurl over the bar.

There’s an immense roar. The game has turned. It was, said Con Houlihan, “a drop of the purest Flaherty”.

Two more minutes pass. Galway try and fail to stem the tide. Offaly are rampant – a catch and a run from Pat Delaney, flicked brilliantly to Brendan Birmingham and then a pass that splits the defence. Johnny Flaherty has the ball in his right hand now, right in front of the goals. He’s seven yards out. The full back line converges. Conor Hayes can’t hold him. Niall McInerney can’t get there. The goalkeeper Michael Conneely tries then. He also can’t hold Flaherty.

There no room to swing a hurl. He shifts his weight and his right hand comes up across his left shoulder.

He is too quick for everyone. The ball is out of the hand and palmed to the net.

Con Houlihan wrote that the Offaly crowd went out of their delightful minds: “All heaven broke loose – and its colours were green-white-and-gold.”


It's 1993.

Johnny Flaherty is 46 years of age and is starting for Kinnitty against Crinkle in the Offaly junior hurling final. He stays in near the goals and scores 1-3. Kinnitty win and Johnny is as good as finished hurling.

He had actually said he was already over the hill by the time he had scored the winning goal in the 1981 final when he was 34.

“That game came a bit late for me. A few years before, I could dominate a match from out the field. But to go in at half-time in an All-Ireland final seven points down, and know there was nothing you could do about it out the field, that you didn’t have the legs anymore, that was hard.

“I was caught at me worst, if you like, I was well past my best anyway. Still, I felt if they could only work it up to me, if they’d puck it up to me, I’d be able to do something with it. They did, and sure I managed to get the ould goal.”


It’s 2005.

Johnny Flaherty is walking around O’Moore Park with the Kilkenny hurler Liam Fennelly as part of a feature for the ‘Irish Examiner’. He describes the way he used to think about hurling before a big game: “I’d be talking to myself for two weeks before a big match, about the fella I was going to be marking. Okay, he’s bigger than you, he’s faster, he’s stronger, he’s a better hurler than you, he’s even better-looking, and all that first week I’d be training, preparing myself, getting into the humour.

“As the second week went on though, I’d be bringing him down to my height, maybe he’s not so good, maybe he’s not so strong, and by the time the game came around, I’d be really ready. I’d try to show him up, if he made even half a mistake, I’d pounce.”


It’s 2022.

Johnny Flaherty is president of the All-Ireland Hurlers' Golf Society. There is an outing underway at Esker Hills Golf Club.

He is playing with Michael Duignan and Joe Dooley and is standing on the tee box at the par four second hole. The hole is a dogleg, not much more than 320 yards away – if you go over the trees Johnny is still a big hitter, still a very competitive 11 handicapper. And he is only ever going to go over the trees.

He steps up and swings his driver. He hits the ball beautifully and it makes the green no problem. There are three former Wexford hurlers – the Quigleys – on the green, The ball runs past them, straight and true – and into the hole.

It is the first ever hole-in-one at a par 4 recorded at the home club of Shane Lowry.


There was nobody in this world like Johnny Flaherty. He remade the madness of the mountain to the main street of Tullamore where he was a successful businessman.

He was, of course, a great hurler. His deeds for club and county are the stuff of legend. He will always be a hero to Offaly people.

More than that, he was a wonderful human being, warm and generous, enormous fun.

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Re: Condolences Thread

Post by frankthetank »

Fantastic article.

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Re: Condolences Thread

Post by G91 »

Taken from ferbane gaa

Tribute to Ollie Daly

Attempting to capture the immense contribution of Ollie Daly to the sporting life of Offaly in a post of this nature would be both inappropriate and futile. Ollie was a proud Ballycumber native, whose contribution - on and off the field – to his birthplace is best articulated by his many friends in that locality. Likewise, his successful input into the footballing fortunes of the clubs he managed, most notably those in west Offaly from Clara and Durrow to Doon and St Rynagh’s, created an impact best described by those who felt it most.

His contribution to his county was not confined to the Boardroom, where he attained the highest office, nor even to his successful involvement in management of county teams but to an infectious support of all things Offaly, that took him to New York and London to support his fellow Faithful supporters and share the common bond that his county engendered.

Ollie spent most of his adult life, not only as a resident of Ferbane, but as an active citizen of our community. He immersed himself in the local community and found, not for the first nor last time, in the GAA a means of contributing to the well-being of the community’s young people. He cared immensely too about the recreational needs of adults & senior citizens in the locality and he set up a successful card group at Ferbane GAA centre, a morning walking group and he advocated for facilities for senior citizens at Ferbane GAA Gym.

He was a club – and indeed county – chairman who took great pride in accurately describing himself as a “player’s man” and the esteem in which players hold Ollie is an illustration of their appreciation of his efforts on their behalf. His player-centred approach served him and them extremely well. That style was consistent throughout his GAA life, other than when he forgot himself after a hard training session and threw himself with abandon, still on a frosty training pitch with steam rising from players and manager alike, into one of Ollie’s epic motivational monologues that may have gained greater appreciation in a championship dressing room.

His popularity was widespread and the vast number of people who, for the past few months, have come to the mobile Lotto Ticket Booth – that ingenious contraption that Ollie invented, now replicated throughout the land – to enquire after his health has been astounding. Part of his immense likeability was his disarming honesty, rarely tethered by political correctness. His venture into local politics led to his immortal line “All I know is there are about 1,200 liars in west Offaly”. Ollie Daly would not promise you anything – including a vote – unless he would deliver. And he promised much to many!

He never confined his support to the activities under his stewardship and he was an avid Naomh Ciaran supporter, whose pride in their provincial and national achievements was evident and whose presence at their games was consistent, regardless of location or status.

Ollie Daly’s contribution to the community and sporting life of Ferbane has left an indelible positive impact on all who experienced it. His genuinely pleasant personality and seemingly happy-go-lucky outlook belied a fiercely determined and principled man, whose opinions were of his own making and formed the basis for actions, for which he was prepared to take responsibility. But his self-deprecating manner endeared him to all who knew him, the ability be serious without taking himself too seriously was an asset he possessed in abundance.

His pride in his communities and his GAA teams was only overshadowed by the enormity of his pride in his three sons, Gary, Paul and Ronan and their families. Their loss and that of his partner, Bridget is enormous. We offer our sincerest sympathies to them and to Ollie’s brothers Chris and Brendan; sisters, Marie, Carmel, Patricia and Nuala, extended relatives and a very, very wide circle of friends.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam!

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