Seán Flynn RIP - the quintessential clubman!
Sadly, Sean Flynn passed from this life on Christmas Day 2008 after bravely fighting his untimely illness throughout the year. Sean was a legend of Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club and will be sorely missed. We've one of the largest clubs in Ireland but through his unstinting voluntary work across its various sections he managed to make it appear small - that's probably the biggest tribute one could pay to the big man! As we approach the penultimate step towards possible All Irl Club glory on 21st Feb next, it's timely to reflect on the (unsung) role Sean played in Crokes first Dublin title in 1992 and in bringing the coveted Andy Merrigan Cup to Glenalbyn in 1995.
Last April, at the onset of his illness, Sean went to a lot of trouble to compile an article for this web-site to mark the 25th anniversary of our first Dublin U21 championship success in 1983. It's well worth a read- see this link - and from it you will get a sense of this proud club man. Sean had taken that team, his ‘babies', from U16 through to adulthood and a number of the players involved went on to great senior careers and to other roles within the club. One of the abiding memories of the 1992 Dublin Championship is Sean with an enormous Crokes flag draped around his shoulders - one of our most vocal supporters and never afraid to show his colours. This integrity and forceful expression of his views was a mark of the man, both on and off the field, always with the club interests at heart.
In the run-up to All Ireland glory in 1995, Sean was in the background providing temporary lights for training when such a concept was still relatively unknown. He wasn't the type to seek payment either, in fact this was only a sample of the type of contribution he made to the club both on and off the field. It was good to see him in Parnell Park last winter, supporting the lads in the Leinster campaign ... for as long as his ailing health would allow. No doubt he will be cheering us on from his new home in the weeks and years ahead, we certainly hope so!
One can only hope to convey a flaour of Sean's contributrion to Kilmacud Crokes, and Dublin GAA/Camogie, in a short tribute of this type. A few thoughts from his appreciative club colleagues are collated below to indicate the impact this former rugby player had after he arrived in Stillorgan towards the end of the 1970s:
- Seán's first posting, as a very well constructed man, was at full‑forward on the Junior team under the care of the Sheridan brothers - no prisoners taken! Perhaps the original of the modern day big target man?
- He was an active participant in the club's Superstars competition - in fact we have rare video footage of his cycle race around Pairc de Burca in the archives - our new wave of cyclists might like to check out?
- He was passionate in his love of and support for Football, Camogie and Hurling - Dublin and Club. Indeed, his trips to Thurles every year for the Munster Final are legendary.
- He was a man of action and possessed a wide range of qualities, energetic, enthusiastic, direct, thought-provoking, generous, sportsmanship, fairness and courageous.
- He served on many Committees and in many roles including Vice-Chairman of the Club in 1991 for 1 year, Director of Kilmacud Glenalbyn Sports Club for 4 years, Executive Committee, Football Committee (1985-90), Camogie Committee, and Grounds Committee.
- He was Chief Organiser of the Camogie Sevens for many years.
- He could converse with Referees from the sidelines or the back of the Stand in Parnell Park or Croke Park.
- He will always be remembered for his role on the Gate for the Football and Hurling Sevens (thou shalt not pass without a ticket).
- He and his wife Maura supported every Social occasion in the Club and were card-carrying members of the Sunday night cards club.
- Sean made few enemies and a great circle of friends, he loved sport, matches and the after match debate.
- Sean took up Golf in recent years and played in the Club's Golf Society outings where he had a reputation for being a thoughtful golfer.
Sean's latter years were primarily associated with Camogie in the club and at Dublin Co. Board level. His interest in Camogie began in the mid 1980s when his daughters Maeve and Una joined the juvenile ranks and when his eldest daughter Deirdre started playing for Crokes at adult level, Sean took on the management of her (Junior) team. They moved up from Junior C to Junior A status within a couple of years
By the late 1980s a vacancy arose in the management of the Senior team and as Deirdre was now playing at that level, Sean took on that role in conjunction with Manager of the Junior team. He managed both teams for a good number of years, not always an easy job. Eventually a new manager was found for theJunior team but Sean continued to manage the Senior team until four years ago when he felt it was time to pass the mantle on to someone new.
Sean got involved early on with the committee and the administration of Camogie in the club and was a very vocal supporter of Camogie on the executive committee and ensured its interests were well represented. He held many officerships on the Camogie committee including Chairman, Vice Chairman,Treasurer and Board Delegate and it was through his work as board delegate that he became involved in the running of the Dublin Camogie County Board. During his time there he served as Treasurer, Leinster Delegate and for the past four years as Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee.
Sean was the person everyone in Dublin associated with Kilmacud Crokes Camogie and through his work with the All Ireland Camogie Sevens he was well known around the country in Camogie circles. He believed that the schools were the key to developing Camogie in the area and it was his initiative which began our annual primary and secondary school blitzes. Last June, Sean stood at the top of the steps on the final day of the Camogie/Ladies Football Mini All Irelands and was very pleased to see the large number of girls playing Camogie.
Sean will be sorely missed by everyone in Kilmacud Crokes, from all sections. This was so evident from the huge turnout at his funeral service in the freezing final days of 2008. His vibrant expression of volunteerism and commitment, over a long period as a member,should be recalled whenever people moan about doing little things to help the greater good or when a narrower view of club life comes to the surface.
The quintessential clubman,Sean; ní bheidh a leithead ann arís! Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.