I COULD not let it pass without mention of one of the great GAA women in the long history of the game who went to her well-earned reward with the Heavenly Saints when leaving this World quietly, and with great feeling on Saturday, January 12 at her home in Castlebanny.
Mrs Fennelly (Teresa to her myriad of friends) was a serenely quiet lady, with a winning disposition, a kind face and a willing heart. It is a well-quoted cliché, but most certainly appropriate for this great lady, that behind every great man, there can be found a greater woman.
Kevin Fennelly (senior) ticked a great many boxes in terms of genuine qualities in a person during his far too brief life, but there is no ambiguity in stating that his wife, now beside him, and the mother of their nine children was an unbreakable colossus as they shared the path of life for the number of years they were together on this planet.
Kevin, who I was honoured to call a friend, demanded loyalty as unconditional as he gave.
He was truly one of the most dependable and loyal friends one could meet. He was a truly remarkable man, with an enormous honesty in everything he did.
Many better scribes than I will pen a deserving tribute to Mrs Fennelly.
They will tell of her dedication to her seven high achieving sons, and her two daughters. They will tell of her times shared with Kevin, her dedication, her Christian ethos, her dedication to her God and fellow man.
They will speak in glowing rhetoric of her faith, and her caring disposition; of her charity and her neighbourly dependability.
With respect, I shall leave that to those that know better than I.
One little story told by her eldest, Michael, tickled the spot during his homily to his mother.
He spoke of his mother’s devotion to St Martin, and of the time when a hurling ball was lost around their farmyard.
“Pray to St Anthony, and he’ll find it for ye,”his mother exhorted.
“We did said Michael, but we looked for another hour without finding it.”
I’m sure she was smiling at the memory.
What a woman, what a family!