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Remembering Austin Garvin


PORTRAIT The late Austin Garvin was photographed for The Mayo News in 2004 by Tommy Eibrand (RIP).

Mike Finnerty

THE news that Austin Garvin had passed away last week left many people with heavy hearts.
A man who had lived a full and fulfilling life was gone to his eternal reward.
A man who was held in high esteem by anyone who made his acquaintance.
And we at The Mayo News were no different.
Some of Austin’s finest hours in the sporting arena may have come when managing Mayo to win two All-Ireland Minor football championships in the 1970s, but for many of us in The Mayo News, Austin Garvin was the best team-mate you could ask for.
He was loyal, hard-working and utterly committed to our team.
And if your back was to the wall, or you needed somebody to step up or step in, there was nobody better to call.
If Austin could help, he would.
And if he couldn’t help, he’d know who could.
He loved being part of our team and we loved having him.
As an ambassador for The Mayo News, as somebody to represent the organisation at an official function, a boxing tournament or an underage football match, there was no better man.
He took his duties seriously and he never let the side down.
Whether it was a boxing tournament in Geesala, a South Under-14 Final in Mayo Abbey, a colleges match in Bekan or a Club Stars meeting in Breaffy, Austin would look after it.
“I know exactly what you want,” he would say before our conversation ended.
The relevant match report or article would be delivered before the agreed deadline, and every angle would be covered. Austin was a self-taught journalist and he was a very good one.
His attention-to-detail was second-to-none and his meticulous approach became legendary.
If he was going to do a job, then he was going to do it right.
The fact that Austin would always be the first of us to arrive at meetings, matches, or on nights out spoke volumes about his professionalism and punctuality.
For the last 20 years Austin poured his heart and his soul into being the best team-mate he could be. He would never ask you to do something he wouldn’t do himself, and he was a great believer in the value of hard work. No job was too big, no assignment too awkward.
If The Mayo News needed it done, then it would be done. And done right.
It wasn’t long after Austin joined our team that he became a good friend, a trusted confidante, and a source of straight and sound advice for those of us who needed it.
He was fascinating and engaging company, a natural story-teller, who loved nothing more than being in a group of like-minded people, listening and chatting and having the craic.
He was also a man who had forgotten more about Gaelic football than many of us will ever learn. He lived and breathed the game; and he was always energised and excited by watching young players and seeing them develop, improve and be the best they could be.
An All-Ireland Minor football winning manager at the age of 26, Austin was also a Connacht champion boxer in his youth and in more recent times, a Captain and President of Claremorris Golf Club.
There was so much more to Austin than met the eye.
His wisdom, experience, insight and counsel will be missed.
Austin loved a good quote too.
It became a regular feature of some of his writing in The Mayo News over the last 20 years and often decorated his musings on Gaelic football, golf and boxing.
So we decided to find a quote to try and capture the essence of Austin.
This one from George Bernard Shaw caught our eye.  
“A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.”
To his wife Mary, daughter Deirdre, sons Paul and Adrian, and extended family and friends we extend our deepest sympathies.
Ar dheis de go raibh anam dilis.

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