Family and club were dear to Josie

The late Josie Kissane


TRALEE and Strand Road in particular were in mourning with news of the death of Josie Kissane (nee Griffin) of Cahill's Park and formerly of Old Spa Road. Josie would have been one of the last links with Old Spa Road and her passing marks the end of an era for a generation of people from that side of town.

The Griffin and Kissane families are synonymous with Strand Road and the Kerins O'Rahilly's Club, both being steeped in the history of the Blues. Josie was born in April, 1925, daughter of Johnny and Mollie Griffin (nee O'Connor) and was the last surviving member of her family having been pre-deceased by sister Madge and brothers Billy and Christy.

Josie grew up in a household where football was a second religion, her father was bagman for the O'Rahillys teams for many years and her brothers wore the club colours with pride.

When she married John Kissane, another strong link with the club was forged and her family often joked, that not alone did she marry John, but she married the club as well. A woman of quiet disposition, Josie took it all in her stride and thought nothing of washing and drying the team's gear after a game.

John and Josie's home in Cahill's Park was where they raised of six - four girls, Helen, Mary, Ann (deceased) and Jo and two sons Sean and Billy. Here in the comforts of her kitchen Josie baked her home-made bread and it was also where John and his fellow selectors picked teams to represent the club. The front door of her home was open to one and all with cups of tea and bread to feed those who came to sit at her table.

Josie, never a woman to seek the limelight, was nevertheless delighted when the club her family supported gained victory on the field of play. The county championship and Bishop Moynihan Cup was paraded up Strand Road following victories in 1953, 1954, 1957. The controversial 1959 campaign saw South Kerry awarded the semi-final on an objection, but for Josie it was another win which they never got credit for.

Her late brother Christy, played right corner back on the 1957 team, while her sister Madge's husband Paddy 'Mulderrig' Moriarty filled that position on the 1953 and 1954 winning teams.

It was also of immense pride for Josie when her sons and grandsons followed in the family tradition and put boot to the leather for the club.

When her husband John, died in 1997, Josie received great care and support from her family and friends during this difficult period. A woman of old fashioned values and faith she put her trust in God when attending mass in Holy Cross Dominican Church and in later years at the chapel of the Bon Secours hospital.

Her family played a very central part in her life and they were always calling to see her, as she loved to see the younger generation. Martina Griffin, her niece and bosom buddy, with whom she had a great relationship, was also a constant support.

Josie ventured away on holidays to many European destinations as well as Russia and the Holy Land, with her daughters and travelling companions Breda King and Jennie Foley. When returning from trips abroad, her question was always "Where will we go next year?"

Sitting in the comfort of her home, Josie enjoyed the soaps, a good film and music. The tenor voice of Mario Lanza was her favourite and she would sing along with him when she thought no one was listening.

For the period of time when Josie's health was deteriorating she was lovingly cared for by her family. They wish to thank the carers who looked after their mother during her illness for their kindness.

Josie passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 31 at the residence of her son Billy. Her remains reposed at Hogan's Funeral Home on Saturday, February 2, followed by removal to St John's Church. Requiem Mass was celebrated on Sunday at 12 noon followed by burial in New Rath Cemetery.

Josie is deeply regretted by her loving daughters Helen, Mary and Jo, sons Sean and Billy, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

Coladh samh i measc na nAingeal.