With the death of Micheal Maher, Castlemeadows and Parnell St., formerly, Thurles has lost a man who during his eighty eight years contributed immensely to the community in a variety of capacities.
Micheal’s late father, Jim, was proprietor of one of the best known GAA “houses”, not only in Thurles, but much further afield. Micheal continued the tradition up to his retirement from the licensed trade.
A gifted athlete in his youth, Micheal was a noted boxer and cyclist but it was at gaelic games he excelled. He won four county senior championships with Sarsfields and also wore the county colours with distinction and played Railway Cup with Munster, the highest accolade then for a hurler.
On his retirement, his association with the games continued. He was treasurer of Sarsfields club for many years and also acted as selector. He was one of the driving forces in the establishment of Thurles Crokes football club which brought senior county honours to the town for the only time in 1960. He served as a county selector at both senior and minor level in football.
To all of these activities he never gave less than his best and he was greatly respected for his fairness and shrewdness in these roles.
Sport aside, he also contributed to the community in other spheres. As a member of the Lions Club, he assisted in the promotion of many initiatives for the betterment of Thurles. Blessed with a beautiful tenor voice, he was a member of Thurles Musical Society for a time and was, in more recent years, a long-serving member of the choir at Bohernanave Church, a commitment very dear to him.
Above all, Micheal was a thorough gentleman, kind in word and action, to all he met. The death of his son, James, and wife, Mary, were heavy crosses but were borne with the same exemplerary Christain fortitude shown as failing health began to take its toll. A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, his immediate and extended family came before all else in his life, a love that was reciprocated in full measure by them.
Indicative of his standing in the community was the large number of people who attended his reposing at his home on Tuesday evening and at his Concelebrated Requiem Mass on Wednesday at which his nephew, Fr Michael O Meara, was Chief Concelebrant, and in which his family members participated also. He would have taken great pride in Bohernanave choir’s singing at the Mass.
Afterwards, his coffin, draped in the Sarsfields and county colours was brought to the family grave at Killinan cemetery. Members of Sarsfields club provided a Guard of Honour – a fitting farewell to a great club man.
Sincere sympathy is extended to his daughters, Anne, Norma, Mary, and Catherine, daughter-in-law, Michelle, sister, Anne O Meara, sons-in-law, Gerald, Frank, and Derek, brother and sisters-in-law, grandchildren, and other relatives and friends on their sad loss.