FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME The late Stephen Broderick with his grandsons Paddy and Conor Ketterick at the opening of a Westport Hurling Club photography exhibition back in 2018. Pic: Conor McKeown
ALL associated with Westport GAA and the wider business communities of Westport and Castlebar have been saddened to learn of the passing of Stephen Broderick yesterday (Monday).
A native of Kilbeacanty in Galway, Stephen passed away after a long battle with illness.
After settling in the west Mayo town in the 1970s, Stephen was instrumental in the revival of Westport hurling club.
After hurling for Castlebar Mitchels, Westport and Mayo, Stephen turned his attention to developing the game in Westport during a period of decline.
Having played in two Galway county finals in a career that spanned five decades, he pioneered the small ball in a football-mad county for many years.
He was involved in various aspect of the club and had a larger-than-life personality that endeared him to all.
Stephen also ran a successful business, Broderick’s Electrical, in Westport and Castlebar for many years, where his charm and honest salesmanship won him many loyal customers.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday evening (Monday), Westport GAA club chairman Charlie Lambert said: “I’m deeply sorry to hear about the passing of Stephen, who has been a real stalwart for the club over the years, had a great passion and involvement in hurling, and was a driving force in the revival of hurling in the club.
“He was also a club officer through the 80s and was involved in projects such as the revamping of the main pitch.”
He continued: “We are deeply indebted to Stephen for all his work. We are deeply sorry to hear about his passing and we give our deepest sympathy to all his family; his wife Noreen and daughters Gillian, Elaine, Sheena and Jean and sons Stephen Jnr and Paul, who both played for the club.”
Stephen’s work in the promotion of hurling in Mayo was recognised at the 2016 Mayo News/O’Neill’s Club Stars when he was awarded the Adrian Freeman Perpetual Trophy.
On the night, Stephen reflected on the growth in popularity of hurling in Westport and throughout the county over the years, saying: “When I see children going to school with their hurls, particularly national school [children], that was unheard of 30 or 40 years ago in this county,” he told Master of Ceremonies Mike Finnerty. “And this county can compete with any of them; not with the top ... seven or eight teams, but certainly in the second division. They punched above their weight for many, many years, and had some fantastic hurlers in my time.”
Stephen Broderick's funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, April 29, at 1pm in St Mary's Church, Westport, with burial afterwards in Aughavale Cemetery. Mass will be live streamed on www.churchtv.ie/westport. Due to HSE guidelines, Stephen's funeral will be private to family members only. Anyone wishing to leave a message of sympathy for the family can do so by clicking on the condolences link on RIP.ie.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.