Tributes for adopted son of hurling

Kilkenny native Pat a driving force for grass roots Kerry hurling

The Late Pat Delaney. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin
The Late Pat Delaney. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

Stephen Fernane

'His family and Kilkenny hurling' were described as the two greatest loves in the life of Pat Delaney by his son Michael at his funeral Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on Monday.

News of Pat's death at his Countess Grove home in Killarney was felt far beyond his adopted town where he lived for 35-years since coming to the Kingdom to work as an agent with Irish Life Insurance.

A native of Woodsgift in Kilkenny, Pat is described as someone who brought much more than a love of hurling with him to Kerry, he also brought his friendly and infectious personality that endeared him to so many.

Chief Celebrant Fr Howard said Pat appreciated the richness of living life and that he loved travelling with his family.

"Hurling was his love and his dedication to St Pat's, East Kerry and Kerry hurling was his passion, which is no surprise coming from his native Kilkenny," said Fr Howard.

Pat immersed himself in St Pat's Hurling Club and it was a proud moment for him when inducted into the St Pat's East Kerry Hall of Fame for his thirty-five year service at The Gleneagle Hotel last January at the East Kerry Sports Awards - an occasion when Kilkenny maestro, Brian Cody, sent a message in praise of Pat.

St Pat's has long boasted of its links with Kilkenny and Pat's fellow Emerald's GAA Club man, Tom Holohan, was a founder member of the Killarney club. Within weeks of Pat's arrival in Killarney in 1983, he celebrated St Pat's famous victory over Kilmoyley in the County Intermediate Championship.

Pat's influence in hurling also extended countywide, especially the East Kerry Board where he devoted many years as a hurling officer. He contributed to the Kerry county hurling team as a minor and senior selector from 1995-2000 - a glorious period for Kerry.

Pat is described as someone who 'set goals, motivated players, and kept St Pat's to the fore at divisional and county level'. Moreover, it was mentioned how Pat's background in finance benefited the club hugely as his contacts helped on every front.

In the St Pat's history book entitled, 'Kindling St Patrick's Flame', Club President Dan Kelleher said: "It would be true to say that Pat has given many hours voluntarily and willingly to the cause of hurling and its administration in Kerry. I find it extremely difficult to comprehend how he has given so much time in addition to the many other duties and tasks he has to perform. Others, like him, seldom get the recognition they deserve and even sometimes it is not even acknowledged and most times it is taken for granted." 

The Chairman of St Pat's, Garry O'Halloran, described Pat as an inspirational gentleman and a true friend to all. 

"Pat was a loyal, dedicated follower and supporter of hurling embracing every opportunity to promote hurling in South Kerry. He remained committed to all in St. Pats from the U6 training sessions, to organising many fundraising activities as well attending many a function representing his club with huge pride. Our loss is heaven's gain - may he rest in peace."

Pat was a successful business man and he established his own independent investment company. His volunteer work with Killarney Credit Union endeared him to many people and he served as its chairman for many years, only stepping down from the position in 2017.

Pat was also a member of the Killarney Diabetic Association. His funeral was attended by large crowd who turned up to pay their respects. The cortege left St Mary's Cathedral to Pat's final resting place in Aghadoe Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Bridget, children Philip, Michael, Pat, Mary Teresa and Edward, adored grandchildren, relatives and in-laws.