Saturday 17 March 2018

Club honours Ciaran Smith

Ciaran Smith.
Ciaran Smith.

John Manning

Fingallians will honour a fallen hero of the club on Saturday when it stages a special match in honour of the winchman Ciaran Smith who was lost at sea as part of the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 116 which crashed off the Mayo coast, in March.

Ciaran was originally from Swords and played for Fingallians and in recognition of his time at the club, Fingallians will host a very special football match to honour his memory.

A spokesperson for the club said: 'Ciarán has unfortunately left behind a wife and three young daughters. As Fingallian members the least we can do is to remember one of our own and celebrate the short but great life he had.'

It all happens at the club's grounds in Swords from 6pm on October 7.

That is the time of the throw-in for this one-off game of Gaelic football which will see a team of former Fingallians players, including juvenile team mates of Ciaran's play against a team selected from the club's Minor team of 1988 plus guests.

Two other great club men will also be remembered on the day in the shape of Paddy Harrington who died last year and Tommy Reilly who passed away this year.

The match will be preceded by a minute's applause to honour Ciaran, Paddy and Tommy before the game kicks off and the fun begins.

Funds will be raised on the night in Ciaran's memory and also to aid in the club's fitting out of Sluagh Hall.

Donations can be made on the night and there will also be a charity auction in the clubhouse bar.

GAA was a big part of Ciaran's life and he made his mark not only on Fingallians but also on Wild Geese in Oldtown where he played hurling and football after he and his family moved to Oldtown.

Ciaran tried his hand at both football and hurling and was on the first hurling team established at the Wild Geese.

Aidan Lenehan helped set up the hurling team at the Wild Geese in 2008 and he told the Fingal Independent earlier this year how Ciaran was one of the first to get on board and was crucial to the whole venture getting off the ground.

The winchman had no experience with a hurley at all but according to Aidan, he made up for any lack of skills he may have had with 'unbelievable fitness and unbelievable man-marking ability'.

But more than his contribution on the field of play, Aidan remembered Ciaran's ability to light up any room he entered.

Aidan told the Fingal Independent: 'He was just a really, really pleasant guy. I know that's bandied about a lot but with him, it's true. He had an amazing smile and if he was coming into any group, he would immediately lift the atmosphere.'

Fingallians played a big part in the young life of the local hero and his links with the club and his love of GAA sports will be celebrated at this very special event in Swords which no doubt, will bring the two local communities he made such a big impression on together.

Fingal Independent