FONDLY REMEMBERED Dermot Holmes
STORIES of daring deeds, fond friendships, unstinting loyalty, style, fun, determination and respect have echoed across Lough Conn and the Moy this week as locals come to terms with the sudden and untimely passing of legendary Conn Rangers footballer, Dermot Holmes.
News of Dermot’s passing has sent shockwaves through Mayo sport and glowing tributes have flooded in from near and far as former team-mates and opponents remembered a man who played with his heart on his sleeve.
Dermot first wore the Conn Rangers shirt in 1979, having previously been with Lincoln City. Remarkably, he would go on to represent the famed North Mayo club on the playing pitch for four decades, lining out in the black and green from the late ‘70s right through to the early part of the new century.
Described as ‘a cultured, intelligent, versatile footballer’, Dermot was noted for his ability to retain control of the ball even on the most testing of pitches and was equally comfortable in midfield, on the wing or up front.
His ability and positive attitude was recognised early on and the lion-hearted midfielder was part of the Mayo Oscar Traynor Cup side that scored a famous win over Galway in Terryland back in 1981.
Team-mates described Dermot as the “archetypal team player – he had no ego - he was only interested in what was best for the team and was hugely respected by those who played with him and against him.’
Dermot’s niche in Conn Rangers history was copper-fastened last year when he was named as an automatic choice on the club’s ‘All Time XI.’
A number of former players were asked to select their best players to ever play for the club, and Dermot was selected by every single participant.
When he did finally hang up the boots, Dermot moved into management, and along with PJ Duffy, guided Rangers to the Premier Division title in 2003.
A thorough gentleman, a wonderful team-mate, and a loyal servant to the club, Dermot was a friend to all who knew him. His untimely passing will be mourned in his home village of Coolcronan and beyond and his memory will be cherished by the club to which he gave so much.
Dermot leaves behind a proud and loving family, wife Teresa and their family Martin, Emma, Katie, Leanne; brothers Michael and Billy; sister Caroline, his adored grandchildren Kyle, Tyler, Jamie, Alannah and Darragh and a wide circle of relatives and friends.