‘GAA has lost a great friend and a great leader’
THE President of the GAA, John Horan, is expected to be among the mourners who will gather in Piercestown at 12 noon today for the funeral of Sheamus Howlin who passed away at the weekend following a long illness.
Mr Horan has already paid tribute to Mr Howlin, on behalf of the GAA, in recognition of his life-long association with and involvement in Gaelic games.
Mr Howlin, who was synonymous with the St Martin’s GAA club, was heavily involved with the GAA at regional and national level and was a former Chairperson of the Leinster Council.
In his tribute Mr Horan acknowledged the fact that Mr Howlin was a key figure in developing and supporting the growth of the GAA overseas and said that having served on national committees his experience was ‘invaluable’.
Expressing deepest sympathies to Mr Howlin’s family the GAA President said the Wexford man had given ‘a life-long contribution to the GAA’ at club, county, provincial and national level.
Despite his involvement nationally and the important influence he had on enhancing and developing the organisation across the country Mr Howlin’s first love within Gaelic games was his own club St Martin’s.
‘The GAA has lost a great friend and a great leader,’ said Mr Horan.
‘Over a distinguished lifetime of unselfish service, Sheamus epitomised everything good about the association,’ he added.
Mr Horan said Mr Howlin also epitomised everything positive and good ‘about making a contribution that would always be for the betterment of the GAA and for the benefit of many’.
‘His energy, his work rate, and above all, his positive personality and ability to get on with people and bring them together made him a hugely popular figure throughout the GAA,’ said Mr Horan.
‘He was fiercely proud of his club St Martin’s and of his county, Wexford,’ he added.
Having outlined the importance of his roles at national level Mr Horan said Mr Howlin displayed great courage over the last couple of years as his health began to decline.
‘He showed remarkable courage and grace throughout his battle with illness when he continued to attend meetings and matches as much as possible,’ said Mr Horan.
‘His loss will be felt by many and we send our deepest condolences to his wife Vera and family and to his wide circle of friends at home and abroad,’ he added.
Mr Howlin, from Rathmacknee, passed away on Saturday, December 1, following a long illness. His requiem mass will be celebrated in St Martin’s Church, Piercestown, at 12 noon today followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.
Mr Howlin is survived by his wife, Vera, sons, Gavin, Donal and Derek, brother, Eileen, daughters-in-law, Lisa and Claire, grandchildren, niece, nephews and extended family.
The late Sheamus Howlin.