independent

Saturday 25 October 2014

Sporting tales abound as Frank Taaffe laid to rest

HUGE CROWD BIDS FAREWELL TO POPULAR LOCAL SPORTSMAN

HUBERT MURPHY

Published 28/11/2012 | 14:08

'HE will be forever enshrined in sporting tales'. Words uttered at Frank Taaffe's funeral in Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Saturday, words of comfort for a shattered family.

His death, suddenly, last Wednesday, at 59, drew a massive intake of breath in wider Louth GAA and soccer circles.

'Snag' Taaffe indeed would have looked around the congregation at that funeral and smiled broadly. Over a thousand people turned out to say farewell, from all sporting codes and across the generations.

And the tales did abound about Frank.

Some mentioned his Louth debut, when he came up against a young fella called Brian Mullins of Dublin. Others recalled the days spent kicking a ball along Bothar Brugha and others, his gifted left foot.

Resident in Staleen, Donore, he remained Louth and proud and could often be seen down at his beloved Plunketts watching son Jack in action, another one for the future.

Frank's great generosity was recognised, the time he gave to sport and to people.

The world class St Peter's Male Voice Choir got a 'cross town transfer' for this one, their majesty unmatched while a guard of hono ur came from players, officials and schoolchildren.

Perhaps the most fitting tribute one can ever have is people lining up to carry your coffin on its final journey and this they did at intervals as it made its way to St Peter's cemetery, clad in the maroon of the club and the red of the county.

The greats of the game were everywhere and perhaps this week, some are reunited again on the timeless playing pitch above, Terry Maher organising them from the back, Conlon, Boyle, Reid, Dawe, O'Brien and the rest welcoming their new colleague and Charlie McAllister urging them not to dirty the gear too much as he has to wash it later. Frank is survived by wife Paula and family, Sarah, Sinead, Frank, Rory, Ellen and Jack, daughterin-law Leighanne, soninDave, Sinead's partner Mark, grandchildren Heather, Alana and Hollie, brothers John and Paul, sisters Mary and Vivienne, brothers-in-law, sistersinand Mary, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, extended family and friends.

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