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Give Respect Get Respect

posted 3 Oct 2011, 13:21 by Sarsfields PRO   [ updated 3 Oct 2011, 14:48 by HighMoss Sarsfields ]

We have just come to the end of an extremely difficult week for our club. The loss of Kieran McGurk our esteemed friend and clubman has come as a massive shock to us all. It has all been said about Kieran, as far as his sporting achievements and his contribution to Gaelic football are concerned.
There was more to Kieran than just football. Kieran was highly regarded as a person, a gentleman and a friend to everyone around our club. For many the grief has been unbearable and for others the idea that Kieran has gone from our lives has been hard to comprehend.
It could be said that our club paid an enormous tribute to Kieran in everything that was done in the last few days. Another view however could be that the club just co-ordinated the small things that were willingly done by many clubmen and that everything collectively became a genuine and fitting tribute. The personal messages posted on our club website are a clear indication of the high esteem in which Kieran was held. From those messages this phrase perfectly sums Kieran up “a terrific gentleman and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet”
The GAA is an important social as well as sporting organisation and the events of this week brought that fact clearly into focus. GAA members from far and wide attended the wake and funeral of Kieran and showed support to his family. These were people who held Kieran in high regard.
The emotion shown by many of our young players clearly demonstrated the significant influence that Kieran had on their lives. These same young players along with the 1990 team and committee showed great dignity and respect as they provided a Guard of Honour for Kieran, as did all our clubmen as they paid their respects to Kieran. At the requiem mass Brian McAlinden who had a long and close association with Kieran, delivered a poignant reflection, a recitation of the poem ‘The Beautiful Game’ by Brendan Kane, a very apt and fitting verse for an accomplished penalty taker. In a final personal tribute Brian told the mourners “In 1990 our club had a dream. On 12 January a group of players began their first training session. On September 9th 1990 that dream came to fruition.” Brian held up the mass leaflet; on the back was Kieran with the McKillop Cup. “This is the man that made it happen. Please show your appreciation, Kieran McGurk – The Greatest” Before he had the words out, the entire congregation was on their feet with an applause that quite simply was a huge outpouring of emotion. As a celebration of Kieran’s life and of his contribution to all our lives it was a very fitting tribute.

At a recent football match I couldn’t help noticing the statement ‘Give Respect, Get Respect’ on a referee’s jersey. It immediately made me think of Kieran McGurk. Kieran was highly respected within our club. That respect was fully deserved and was a reflection of the genuine respect that Kieran showed to everyone in his life.