Deserved recognition for Buckley's tireless efforts
Published 21/02/2012 | 05:00
IRELAND is the talk of world golf after producing four Major champions in five years, and a significant figure in the smooth operation of this incredible conveyor belt, Fintan Buckley, has been invested as the 64th president of the GUI.
Kildare native Buckley, now in his 70s, has been a passionate and innovative contributor to junior golf and the ongoing development of the underage system which produced Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.
A keen exponent of rugby and Gaelic games in his youth (until the GAA's infamous 'vigilantes' had him banned from football and hurling in 1951), Buckley first played golf at Lucan. Initially a 16 handicap, he was soon down to six and remained in single figures for 35 years. In 1959 he accepted a friend's invite to join Hermitage. The five guineas entry fee was probably the best money retired New Ireland employee Buckley ever spent.
A tireless servant of his club, his province and the Golfing Union, Buckley succeeded outgoing President Eugene Fayne at last Friday's AGM, which coincided with his birthday. He and wife Betty reared four children but Buckley's selfless efforts help many other kids find fulfillment in golf.