LAST Thursday, the community of The Red Lane and Kilmacanogue lost one of the best when Kevin O'Toole passed away peacefully at Blackrock Hospice.
Kevin was a devoted husband and best friend of his devoted wife Annabel, wonderful dad of Martina, Josephine, Terry, Jasper and Veronica and adored by all his grandchildren, brothers, sisters, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and friends. His removal took place on Sunday to St. Mochonog's Church where once again, a fantastic tribute and Guard of honour was organised by the Kilmacanogue Gaa Club to say a final farewell to the clubs much loved and highly respected Vice-President. A huge crowd turned out on the day to pay their respects and help support the family in this sad time. Kevin's son Terrence found the strength to pay a lovely tribute to his dad from the altar along with great family friend, Alec Byrne. As they left the church to bring Kevin to his final resting place, the route was lined with members of the former Kilmacanogue Ladies team, ladies from Eire- Og, Enniskerry-Kilmac Hurlers and Kilmacanogue Present and Past teams as people gave a little grin as "That famous Hat" sat proudly on the coffin.
No matter where you heard the sad news last Thursday, be it by phonecall, meeting a friend or even the social network Facebook, the common word everywhere was "A Gentleman" and Kevin truly was.
Kevin was always remembered as the first to be at training and turn up for matches.
One mourner recalled playing for Ballinastoe in 1975 in a match v Kilmacanogue that was moved from Bray to Greystones because of the wet weather.
Kevin Doyle recalls being marked that day by Kevin who was wearing a pair of wellingtons for the match (and probably still marked "Doyler" out of the game!).
Others had thought Kevin needed a passport to even leave the Red Lane yet heard of journeys to Canada, USA and Lourdes recently.
Of course he needed to catch a plane to them destinations because those two famous forms of transport he used, the Pony and Trap and The Red Van, wouldn't have got him that far. Farewell Kevin, your almost 80 years on this earth has left us with happy memories and we will sign off with the lovely tribute Alec Byrne penned for you. "No more I'll drive my horse and cart No more I will recite my poem My day is done, I have closed my eyes And now, I am going HOME" Rest in Peace Kevin, your suffering is over and hopefully the motorways of heaven will have room for a Horse and Cart and the Red Van on the wet days!
To borrow your famous saying, "Good Luck"!