Thursday 5 December 2019

Daughter thanks county hurling team for 'one more great time' with her dying father

Liam Óg McGovern, Wexford, is tackled by Colm Galvin, Clare
Liam Óg McGovern, Wexford, is tackled by Colm Galvin, Clare
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

A woman has thanked the Wexford hurling team in an emotional message for giving her ‘one more great time’ with her father before he passed away.

Mavis Gallagher sent a heartfelt message to the county senior hurlers and their management team following their win over Clare in the All-Ireland championship five months ago.

Her father, a former minor hurler for Wexford in the 1950s, was diagnosed with cancer and given just two months to live.

And, despite a bad turn just two weeks after his diagnosis, his love of the game meant he stayed awake long enough to watch the ‘yellow-bellies’ beat the former All-Ireland winners in a shock championship win.

“If possible can you please share this message with the Wexford hurling team and management?,” Mavis wrote on the Wexford GAA Facebook page.

“I would like to say 'thank you' to you for winning against Clare last week. My Daddy was a great minor hurler for Wexford in the 1950s and had many medals including one he won in Croke Park where he scored a cracking goal from the half way line!

Mavis's note to the Wexford GAA team (Photo: Wexford People)
Mavis's note to the Wexford GAA team (Photo: Wexford People)

“He was a passionate hurling fan all his life who I remember often shouting at the TV,” she continued.

“Sadly though my Daddy was earlier this year diagnosed with cancer and was given just two months to live. Two weeks after his initial diagnosis on Friday 11th July he took a bad turn and we were told he would leave us that day.

“My Daddy was though a strong willed man wasn't prepared to go that day. He asked us to bring in a radio to him the next day to listen to the big match from Wexford Park (Wexford v Clare). He aimed for that match. As Friday drew to a close he came better and proved the doctors wrong,” Mavis wrote.

She described how the match day was “a good day for him and he sat on the bed in good form chatting”.

The letter continued:

“That afternoon we both settled down to watch the match in St. James' Ward and of course he was a few seconds ahead of me listening to it on the radio as we followed it on the TV.

“I had to tell him to be quiet a few times..... When full time was up he turned to me and said ‘Mavis, I think I'll get into bed now’.

“I helped him in and his breathing started to weaken all of a sudden.

“As the game ticked into extra time I kept him up to date on the score, his eyes would roll in his head, he was slipping.

“When Wexford won I turned to him and shouted ‘we won’ sticking my two thumbs up. With that he gave me one last smile and sadly passed away shortly afterwards.

“Thank you for giving a great game and giving me and my Daddy one more great time spent together over a match.

“Please hurl like you never hurled before and get that All Ireland......Never give up x .”

Mavis’s note was reproduced in the Tom Doyle Supplies senior county football final programme last weekend.

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