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Sad passing of Carlow icon Manuel

The death at Galway University Hospital in June of Dr Manuel do valle Ribeiro, marked the passing of a man who had a highly distinguished career in agricultural research at the Teagasc Research Centre Carlow, combined with sterling service to the County Carlow Football Club over the best part of half a century.

Manuel, a native of Portugal, arrived in Carlow in 1964 with his wife Emilia, son Pedro and daughters Margarida and Maria, and joined the staff of the newly formed Agricultural Institute at Oak Park in Carlow, becoming a successful grass breeder.

Having come from a sporting family, Manuel was soon to get involved in sport in Ireland. His first sporting association was with the GAA through his son Pedro. He was soon to be attracted to the neighbouring rugby club -- County Carlow Football Club, where he was to spend the rest of his life as a well-known and respected rugby administrator.

Most rugby people will remember the "Doc" as the Carlow fixtures secretary, a position he held for more than 40 years. He was absolutely meticulous in carrying out his duties and his unmistakeable accent, combined with his absolute refusal to accept a match cancellation from a visiting team, made him the best-known fixtures secretary in Ireland.

He was elected president of the Club in 1972 and he was the first non-native president and the first president who had not played rugby for the club.

Apart from Manuel's involvement with the Club he was also active in the South East Area of the LBIRFU.

Manuel was a true and loyal gentleman who had a deep sense of faith; he will be sadly missed by all who knew him and the rugby club will not be the same without him.

May he rest in peace.