The Avondhu - By The Fireside
A great sportsman and gifted GP - Dr Seamus Looney
It was with great sadness that I learned in June this year of the passing of Dr Seamus Looney (Bandon Road, Cork City; Rochestown, Cork) to Heaven’s hallowed halls.
A wonderful gifted individual in so many ways, an unassuming man and above all, a pure gentleman to anybody that had the pleasure, privilege and good fortune of knowing him. A truly kind and lovely doctor to all patients in his care and his caring nature will never be forgotten by them and their families, who speak so highly of him, on saving the lives of many of their loved ones.
The tributes on his passing are testament to the esteem in which Dr Seamus was held. A star in every grade of hurling and football. He won an All-Ireland senior hurling medal with Cork in 1970, three U21 medals from 1969-71, as well as U21 football medals in 1970 and ’71. Having won a minor football medal in 1967 with Glanworth’s Donal Ahern, he won another minor medal in 1968 with Donal and Der Cogan from the '67 team. Senior hurling championship medals were attained in 1968 and 1974 with St Finbarrs, and also won an All-Ireland club medal at that time. He won a senior football county championship medal with the Barrs in 1976. Due to his medical studies, his Barrs playing career was interrupted by a period with UCC, being forced to line out with the College in the county championship. He won Sigerson Cup medals in 1969, '70 and '72, the latter being part of a double, along with a Fitzgibbon
1950-2022 (AN APPRECIATION)
Cup success, having also won a Fitzgibbon medal in 1971.
Seamus was on the UCC football team that won the county championship in 1969 and 1973. While the College side represented Cork in 1971 and ’72 Munster and All-Ireland club competition as county champions Carbery, a divisional side, were ineligible. UCC won the provincial championship, but lost to a great Bellaghy side from County Derry in the the All-Ireland final. Seamus also won a county championship senior hurling medal with UCC in 1970.
He was a star hurler and an even better footballer. In one football championship match in particular, he did not give the great Mick O’Dwyer of Kerry a ball and Micko was sick of him. He turned his back to kickouts and was in his face and did not give him space.
Seamus was not a dirty player by any means but he was teak tough and tenacious. Once described by the late Michéal Ó Hehir as the best he had ever seen in a true blue Barrs or the red and white blood and bandage of his beloved club and county.
Seamus loved music and song and he got the Irish version of Slievenamon from none other than the great Seán Ó Sé, because despite all the rivalry, he loved Tipp as well.
Seamus, your untimely passing comes as a shock. So does the fact that you were only 72 years old. Was it really so long ago since they happened, those Cork and Wexford battles which seemes to pass into legend even as we watched them? There were giants on the earth in those days. And none were bigger than Seamus Looney.
He would have dearly loved to see the Barrs back again in both finals in 2022. Seamus, you left us to join some great characters and friends, family members, patients and dear friends in sport, in particular Christy Ring, Mick Roche, Jimmy Doyle and Ned Rea to name but a few.
Seamus, you will be missed by everyone who knew you, none more so than your loving family, Caroline, Michael, Sarah, Noelle, Eileen, Kathleen, Mary, Carol, Niall, Tadhg, Berit, Hannah, Paddy, Leo, Lorcan, Cián, Aoibhe, Daragh and Róisín.
Seamus, you took on the
You fought the good fight You finished the race
You kept the faith.
And so Dr Seamus, as we bid you a fond farewell until we meet again, le cunamh dé, you will always be Seamus from the Bandon Road.
Slán Seamus agus codladh samh go raibh agat; Is féidir é a ra go fior ni fheicimíd a leithíd aris; Guimid chomhbron ar a chlann uile; Níl sé imithe uainn ach inithe romhaín.
Ar dheis lamh Dé go raibh sé.
- Patsy O’Gorman