THE applause rang out around Croke Park for the late Brian Killeen.
He had been stewarding there since he was 17. He played hurling and football for Whitehall Colmcille.
He was a referee. One day, Whitehall were playing Erin's Isle. No referee showed up. Brian said he'd do it.
He sent off his own brother, David. He even asked David for his name!
But at half-time, he went over to the Whitehall mentors to say the decision had been rescinded!
Brian didn't fancy going home saying he had sent off his brother! His father was the respected TD, Tim Killeen.
David, known as Theo, is the Bar manager at Whitehall Colmcille. He was the club's senior football goalkeeper for years.
Brian worked in the P and T, which became Eircom. He was a colleague of Dublin CCC supremo, John McNicholas. And he was related to Dublin CCC chief, Mick Seavers. Brian later drove a taxi. He then became the driver for the Fianna Fail leader, Micheal Martin.
In Croke Park, he graduated to the Ard Chomhairle section. He wore a green jacket. And he wore it lightly.
One of his key roles on All-Ireland final day, with chief steward, John Leonard, was to get the winning captain to the podium. Never an easy task.
Brian had special memories of 1995 when Clare won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
He got on well with their captain, Anthony Daly. So much so that Brian ended up flying back to Clare with the team!
Brian had Clare connections. He was a real gent. He was one of those that was content to be in the background, cementing together the bricks and mortar.
He enjoyed so many wonderful days at HQ. The Special Olympics were a highlight.
It was fitting that the ground he loved so well should have given him such a warm ovation.
At the Dublin v Meath Leinster final, his picture came up on the big screen with the caption - 'Croke Park steward for 50 years'.
Remarkable service that summed up the character of the great family man.