Sunday 25 September 2016

Mayo hero 'never lost passion' for GAA

Aine Ryan

Published 08/02/2016 | 02:30

The coffin of Fr Peter Quinn, draped in the Mayo colours, leaves St Patrick’s Church, Ballina, Co Mayo. Photo: James Connolly
The coffin of Fr Peter Quinn, draped in the Mayo colours, leaves St Patrick’s Church, Ballina, Co Mayo. Photo: James Connolly
Peter Quinn

It was a low-key engagement for Taoiseach Enda Kenny as he attended the funeral of one of the last heroes of Mayo's All-Ireland-winning team of 1950 and 1951.

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While the green and red of Mayo was obvious throughout the congregation at St Patrick's Church in Ballina, it was the green and gold of Ballina's Ardnaree Sarsfields, Fr Peter Quinn's (91) home club, that dominated.

Kieran Quinn said his uncle, who was based in the Lakelands Parish in Florida since the mid-1970s, always timed his holidays to come home for the All-Ireland final at the end of September.

"I remember when I was 12 or 13, myself and my brother Eugene were playing for Bonniconlon and my uncle came home on holidays, discovered this, went off to town and came home with the transfer papers off Ardnaree," he said.

"He never lost his passion for Gaelic football or his native Mayo and was always gracious in defeat," he added.

Outside the church the torrential rain eased, just momentarily, as the guard of honour from the Ardnaree Sarsfields paid their last respects to their sporting hero who was laid to rest in St Patrick's Cemetery, Kilglass.

Mr Kenny, who brought Fr Quinn to the 2013 All-Ireland final, said he was a wonderful man who "would have been a great example to the young GAA players of today".

Irish Independent

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