'Handball Joe' second sporting loss for town
DUNLEER is mourning the demise of 'Handball Joe' McArdle, who was buried last Sunday in Dromin Cemetery. Sadly missed by his wife, Eva, daughters, Violet, Angela, and son, Joseph, the Moate View resident was a true gentleman according to his family, friends and neighbours.
Many years ago, Handball Joe was the stalwart who helped the young men of Dunleer including his son, Joseph junior, bring home many national titles. The alley behind St Bridget's Hall, now sadly disused, was the centre for the sport in Dunleer.
At that time, there was a huge level of interest among teenagers and young adults in competing at national handball level.
'Joe was full of enthusiasm and he encouraged those younger players. I never met him but he didn't have radiant, almost youthful enthusiasm on his face. He was constantly good natured and gave great encouragement driving that handball club for ten years,' said one local.
When Dunleer handball was at its peak, the county wouldn't have been seen as a centre for handball but Joe and several others formed a committee.
' They ferried youngsters all over the country and many local boys and young men, if they weren't playing football were in the alley, playing handball.
'We all have lot of good memories of the handball club in Dunleer and of Handball Joe, who was one of nature's gentlemen.
'He didn't want pats on the back because he went quietly about his business.
'He will be sorely missed in Dunleer,' said another Dunleer native.