Carlow GAA and camogie circles are mourning the loss of one of the giants of the small ball game in the county.
Pat O’Brien passed away on Sunday surround by his family.
He has left a legacy behind him in Carlow in camogie and hurling, being at the centre of the growth and success of the sport over many years.
Carlow Camogie put the following tribute on their Facebook page which sums him up perfectly.
PAT O’BRIEN RIP
The green fields of heaven have been gifted a new arrival as Pat O’Brien joins the ranks of our Hurling and Camogie guardian angels.
While we have heavy hearts here on earth, heaven has gained a true gentleman, a real warrior, a man who battled both on the Hurling and Camogie fields and on the health front with the same steely determination and unflinching spirit.
A proud Donegal native Pat did a power of work for Hurling and Camogie in his adopted Carlow and in his beloved Carlow Town Hurling Club. His passion and organisation dovetailed perfectly in progressing anything he was involved in and the rise in Carlow Camogie is due in no small way to his stewardship and leadership as Chairperson over a period of many years.
Very often it can be difficult to find support for women’s sport. Pat heartily offered his support at a time when it was needed most and when many others may have scoffed at the idea. That support has been invaluable in helping to ensure that girls of all ages were given the chance to play our wonderful game and he contributed enormously to the welfare and development of literally hundreds of young people from all corners of County Carlow. His long-held belief was that sport is something which offers an opportunity for enjoyment for so many and for bringing people – participants, their family members, and their friends – together in a positive, sociable environment.
During his time as Chairperson, three new Camogie clubs were successfully founded in the county. The encouragement, help, advice, and support that he offered to the members of those clubs was a crucial part of their formation.
He always believed in the value of trying to give our young players as much publicity as possible and in order to achieve this he travelled to games all over the county on a regular basis to write match reports for the newspapers as well as ensuring that match fixtures were always well advertised in the local newspapers.
There was no prouder man in Carlow or Ireland on September 11th, 2016 when Marian Doyle and Teresa Meaney lifted the Kay Mills Cup aloft on the steps of the Hogan Stand as “Follow Me Up to Carlow” rang around the stadium, or indeed in Lattin Cullen in 2012 when Tara Wilson lifted the much sought after All Ireland “B” Championship, or in Banagher in 2018 when he cheered on his grand-daughter Rachel when Carlow won the All Ireland Under 16 Championship.
His loss will most especially be felt by his loving and devoted family who afforded him the opportunity to share so much of his time with us in Carlow Camogie.
Husband, father, brother, uncle, coach, mentor, friend, advisor in every sphere of life Pat gave it his all, and that devotion was returned in spades, he was loved by all for his enthusiasm, honesty, integrity, and sense of fun.
To his dear wife Nancy, sons Michael, John & Patrick, daughter Natalie, his devoted grandchildren Jordan, Rachel, Padraig, Oisin, Leon, Alice, Conan, and his great-grandchildren, daughters in law Anne Marie, Lillian and Jannette, son in law Kenneth, nieces, nephews, extended family, friends, his many Club and County GAA and Camogie colleagues, members of the Carlow Town Hurling & Camogie Club we extend our deepest sympathy at this sad time.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.