IT was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our club president, Jim Hogan, on Monday, May 27 last. Although Jim had been ill for sometime it nonetheless was a time to mourn the passing and celebrate the life and times of one of Castletownroches favourite sons.
Born and reared in Castletownroche to Jack and Lena Hogan, it was obvious from an early age that Jim was a most dedicated and committed servant to all things Castletownroche.
A talented young juvenile player, he made his adult championship debut in 1957 at the age of 17 in the Junior A hurling team, winning a North Cork Championship medal as a canny and knacky corner forward.
He won a second Junior North Cork and County Championship medal in 1960.
In 1964 he began playing in goals, winning a County Intermediate Championship medal defeating Youghal in the final at The Old Athletic Grounds. This was a golden era for the club and we were promoted to Senior status in 1965 where Jim continued to play as a most reliable goal keeper. Jim continued to play in goal until 1974.
In 1975 and '76 he won a North Cork Junior B championship medals. In 1978 he was once again called upon to wear the number 1 jersey on a team that captured the Junior A Championship title defeating Kildorrey in the final played in Kilworth. It was also to prove his final year in a green and gold jersey.
In 1972 Jim had the onerous task of taking over the position of club secretary following the untimely and tragic death of the late Denis (Sonny) O'Neill. Although Jim was still playing on Castletownroche teams, true to form, Jim carried out his duties as club secretary with the same application and commitment he displayed between the posts.
He continued in this role up until 1982 when the reins were handed over to none other than Seamus Batterberry in what was to prove another successful period for the club.
He was club representative at North Cork Board level for many years and also served as a member of the GPC of the board. Jim was involved as selector on many Castletownroche teams and he also served as a selector on the Avondhu Senior Hurling team.
Jim was also the club's correspondent to 'The Corkman' newspaper for many years.
In 2001 the club honoured Jim with the prestigious Hall Of Fame award for a lifetime of service to the club as a player, selector and administrator.
Jim also played an active role in assisting his lifelong friend, John McHugh, in bringing to fruition the publication of the club and village history 'The Old Rustic Bridge', an achievement he was incredibly proud of.
Jim was always willing to help local groups in the parish and was deeply steeped in political and current issues being a staunch Fianna Fail member.
Jim had a great gra for the Irish language and was a fluent speaker. He was also a noted poet and songwriter, penning many notable poems and ballads for the Welcome Home Festival song writing competitions in Castletownroche, for which he is fondly remembered.
He also served as a committee member of the many festivals over the years.
Jim worked for many years as a fitter in Dairygold Co-op in Mallow, but arguably one of Jim's greatest and proudest achievements was the Mill Restoration Project, where as chairman he successfully secured the funding and managed this huge undertaking. The largest restoration project in Munster at the time, it is a legacy attributed to Jim that will stand the test of time.
When the late John McHugh passed away in 2008 the club elected Jim as president, a position he was particularly proud of. For many years and up until April of this year Jim was a huge part of The Hall Of Fame presentations, giving detailed summation of the hall of fame recipients in a unique way that only Jim could master.
Jim was a great and dedicated family man who devoted his life to his wife, Margaret Rose, and his children, David, John C, Seamus, Brian and Mairead and his many grandchildren. When one looks back it is with fond memries that we remember the late Jim and Margaret Rose cutting a dash at the local dances in their own unique and elegant style.
Although it is naturally a very sad and painful time for the Hogan family, we hope that this reflection of his hugely active and diverse life, with his many sporting and career achievements, will be of some comfort to them.
The large turnout at his removal and funeral mass was a testament to the man's popularity as he was hugely respected wherever he went.
Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.