THE village of Ballintubber came to standstill on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon as huge crowds attended the funeral of one of its best-known and respected residents.
Christy Feeney was known throughout Mayo and further afield through his work with the ESB and his commitment to Ballintubber GAA Club. Christy died on Friday morning at the age of 63 after a three year battle with illness. He is survived by his wife Pat, sons, Paul, John and Conor, sisters, Sheila and Frances, and brother Seán, who is a former Mayo County GAA secretary. He was predeceased by his brother Ger, who tragically drowned nearly two years ago.
Thousands were in attendance to pay respects to the family at Ballintubber Resource Centre, a building which will stand and bear testimony to the five decades of dedication which Christy gave to his local GAA club. He was a player of some renown during hid era and shortly after he retired from playing, Christy began nurturing the talent throughout the parish of Burriscarra. Having managed the Ballintubber team to win the Intermediate title in 1990, Christy then went on to be Chairman of the Ballintubber club from 2003 to 2009 where he fulfilled his main objective of overhauling the Ballintubber Resource Centre into a state of the art facility. He was on hand last year to officially open the centre in the presence of his good friend, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Christy battled his illness with great bravery and dignity and he was a proud man on October 24, 2010, when he was in McHale Park to see his son John lift the Moclair Cup and bring home the Mayo Senior Football Championship to Ballintubber for the very first time, in the year the club celebrated its centenary. However, celebrations were also tinged with sadness that afternoon as his brother Ger had only been laid to rest the previous week after a tragic drowning off Inishbofin island.
Last Sunday saw Ballintubber Abbey packed to the rafters for Christy’s Funeral Mass which was concelebrated by Fr Frank Fahey with the help of Fr Seán O’Toole, Fr Paddy Gilligan and Fr Michael Tracey.
Through his work with the ESB, Christy spent long periods on both Clare Island and Inishturk and he made many lifelong friends on the islands, many of whom were in attendance at his funeral over the weekend.
Christy was laid to rest in Ballintubber Abbey graveyard, after which the Chairman of Ballintubber GAA Club, Sean Hallinan, read a fitting citation at the graveside to outline the legacy which Christy has left to the club and the region in general.
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