Farwell to Brendan
BRENDAN Flynn's sudden death last week has left a void in the hearts and minds of many who were fortunate to make his acquaintance and his passing has robbed Mayo GAA of one of their most dedicated supporters.
We tend to apply the term 'gentle giant' a bit liberally at times but Brendan epitomised what gentility and kindness was all about.
He served his time in Harry's of Kinnegad, a famous pit-stop for beleaguered Mayo supporters, where his friendly smile always greeted Mayo supporters (usually after being beaten in Croker) on their weary trek back west.
Brendan knew his football, but then he learned it from the some of the best scholars in his native Kilmeena.
Brendan also did a stint in Breaffy House before moving back to his much-loved Westport where he was a popular barman in the Spinning Wheel.
The soul of discretion, Brendan was not one to pass judgment, and in the years I knew him I can't remember him speak ill of anybody, except maybe the shower from Kerry, Cork and Meath who always seemed to get the better of us in those All-Irelands.
There was nothing that gave Brendan more pleasure than a pint outside the counter and the odd punt on the horses.
But the GAA was his great love and he travelled the length and breadth of Ireland to support his native Mayo, a regular on the Westport supporters' bus who have lost one true friend.
In more recent years Brendan spent a lot of time in Castlebar, a town he had a great grá for, where he was a regular caller on his mother who was in hospital. She can be very proud of the fact that her son dedicated so much of his time to ensuring she was comforted and loved in her own ill health.
While Brendan's family will miss him dearly, we too, who had come to know his warm smile and gentle ways, will also mourn the passing of one of life's rare but genuine gems. Farwell dear friend.
JUST when you thought it was safe to go back on the basketball court I see where former Ballina double national cup-winning coach Terry Kennedy has been shooting the lights out for the Irish Masters basketball team (Over 50s).
Terry is pictured here with Kiltimagh Giants' Ray McGreal as they teamed up for the British masters tournament.
The Irish team won the tournament, beating an English, a Scottish and a highly fancied American team in the final.
Both Ray and Terry were very proud to represent their country and the lads are looking forward to the next tournament in Italy in September. Yes, it would seem life does begin at 50 anymore.
Any room for John Hynes and Martin Newcombe, Terry? Bag boys of course. I might even come out of retirement myself - God forbid.