Thursday 19 October 2017

A racing fan who loved spending time at the track

Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave and his wife Vera at Leopardstown Racecourse
Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave and his wife Vera at Leopardstown Racecourse

Johnny Ward

Liam Cosgrave has been remembered with fondness and respect by the horseracing family, having given many years of service to the sport.

In 1950, the former Taoiseach married Vera Osborne, who was from a Co Kildare family noted for horse breeding and racing.

His wife, who died last year, was the daughter of Joe Osborne, a leading jumps trainer here for many years and the breeder of Brown Lad, who won three Irish Grand Nationals.

Vera's brother Paddy, who died in 2013, was a successful trainer. Her own passion for horses was shared by her husband.

Denis Egan, CEO of the Turf Club, said: "In 1991, Liam became an honorary member of the Turf Club and was a Turf Club steward afterwards.

"He was passionate and very enthusiastic about racing. Indeed, he would regularly attend Turf Club general meetings up until very recently - even though there was no obligation whatsoever to do so. When he spoke at those meetings, he was knowledgeable and sensible.

"You'd see him a lot at Leopardstown with his wife Vera, and he was an absolute gentleman - a really lovely man - and it was an honour to have known him."

Leading trainer Michael 'Mouse' Morris, a son of the renowned journalist and racing enthusiast Michael Morris, echoed the words of Mr Egan.

"You'd see him at the races pretty much every weekend," he said.

"I knew him well and he was great friends of the old man. Liam Cosgrave was a gent of a man and a truly great friend - a better gentleman you couldn't meet.

"He had time for everyone and really loved his racing."

Mr Cosgrave's daughter Mary is often an acting steward at the racetrack, like her late father.

Irish Independent

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