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Garrymore and Crossboyne shocked by death of Jarlath Killeen


Jarlath Kileen
The late Jarlath Killeen.

Garrymore and Crossboyne shocked by death of Jarlath Killeen

Michael Commins

THE community around Garrymore, Scardaune and Crossboyne was left shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Jarlath Killeen, Ballyhankeen, on Saturday evening. Jarlath took ill and died very suddenly at his home after coming in from the fields.
Jarlath, who was in his early 60s, was widely known all over South Mayo through his involvement with the GAA. He served as a referee for many years and these duties took him to various parts of Mayo.
He was closely associated with Ladies Football in the county and served as manager of the Mayo U 14 girls team for a number of years, during which time they won a number of provincial finals and reached All Ireland deciders.
He organised an annual girls tournament, the Killeen Cup, for national school pupils, and this was usually played at Garrymore pitch.
The chairman of the South Mayo Board, Ger McHugh said the news of Jarlath’s sudden death came out of the blue. “Jarlath will be greatly missed in sporting circles. All underage players in South Mayo knew him during his years as a referee. He also did a power of Cumann na mBunscol games and was one of their main referees through all the stages of those competitions right up to the days of the finals in McHale Park.
“I always found him very obliging and, no matter how late the call up in an emergency situation, you could always rely on Jarlath to fill in at very short notice. He was always pleasant and good natured and, on behalf of the South Board and the GAA in Mayo, I extend sincere condolences to Mary and the family.”
For many years Jarlath was a familiar sight on the roads around his home region as he journeyed on his faithful scooter. He also worked for a number of years with the FAS team in Garrymore while also doing work on his farm.
Outside of the world of GAA and sport, his other great passion was country music. Jarlath and Mary were often among the very first to arrive for the country dances in the McWilliam Park Hotel in Claremorris and were on first name terms with some of the well known singers on the circuit.
“Jarlath was a gentleman. I never heard him speak an ill word about anyone in all the times we travelled to matches. Everyone will remember that big smile and the quiet and inoffensive manner of the man. Jarlath will be greatly missed around the Garrymore and Crossboyne areas,” said neighbour Frank Mannix.
Reposing takes place this evening (Tuesday) from 6pm to 8pm in Carey’s Funeral Home, Ballindine with removal to Crossboyne Church. Interment will take place in Crossboyne Cemetery following Requiem Mass at 12 noon on Wednesday.
He is survived by his wife Mary, sons Oliver and Nigel, daughter Caroline, sisters Kathleen and Anna Mai (USA), relatives, neighbours and many friends.