The death has occurred of Sean (Georgie) LEAHY
21 Riverview, Ardnore, Kilkenny City, Kilkenny
Leahy (21 Riverview, Ardnore, Kilkenny) 6th June 2017, peacefully, at home, in the loving care of his family, Sean (Georgie), beloved husband of Rita and much loved father of John, Antoinette, Thomas, Murty and Niall, he will be sadly missed by his wife and family, brother Martin, sisters Eileen and Kathleen, son-in-law Michael, daughters-in-law Mary, Carmel, Deirdre and Sharon, his nineteen grandchildren, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and a wide circle of friends.
Rest in Peace
Reposing at his home from 2 o’clock on Wednesday (7th June) with Rosary at 8 o’clock. Removal on Thursday morning to St. Patrick’s Church, Kilkenny, arriving for Requiem Mass at 12 noon. Funeral afterwards to Foulkstown Cemetery. Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to Cois Nore and the Carlow Kilkenny Home Care Team. House private on Thursday please.
Date Published: Tuesday 6th June 2017Date of Death: Tuesday 6th June 2017 Johnston’s Funeral Home (IAFD)
Sadly, the GAA family has lost one of the finest servants any sporting organisations has been privileged to embrace, with the demise of Sean “Georgie” Leahy at his home in the heartland of his beloved Village club in Larchfield. A giant among giants, Georgie has been an unrivalled GAA man to the marrow of his existence. He set so many benchmarks during his long association with the organisation. From the first day he attended school in the De La Salle Brothers School in the Patrick Street area, the GAA was his sporting mantra. He didn’t know what a mantra meant at the time, nor did he care, but it was the interest shown by Br. Cyril, a Corkonian that ensnared the young boy who was a true blue Village boy- born between the Archway and the Pump.
Fast forwarding from those difficult, but enjoyable days for youngsters at least, one remembers an article in the Kilkenny People, the Banner reading “By George! Look who is still spreading the hurling message in his seventies”. The date atop the paper was Oct 23rd. 2015.
Difficult to foresee at the time, that within nineteen months, the so affable, decent, honourable giant of a human being would no longer be available to answer a call from a pleading source. And he never failed to answer. He never failed to give a helping hand. With the “big lads”- his terminology- to the little juvenile, school or club junior teams, his name was a household one. School kids, both genders were awaiting his arrival when it was their day to be visited by Georgie. They wouldn’t know his surname, Just Georgie!
“They would have the cones out, the goals erected, and hurls and balls counted out. All they needed was a game, with me as referee. What more would you do with little kids except encourage them? You don’t coach little kids at that age. You let them express themselves. They will develop in their own good time. I would let them back into their class room, and before I would have all my gear packed up, they would be back out again for their official break, with a hurl, a ball and a cut of bread. That to me was the real joy of being involved. It was easy be involved with County teams, but the little kids trying their hearts out to impress was pure magic”. Georgie Leahy believed in keeping the narrative very simple. He delighted in getting players to sing from the same hymnal. As Georgie said, “never complicate a simple idea”. Georgie was never complicated, nor did he ever want to be.
His greatest achievement within his club-his opinion- was the winning of the County senior Title in 1969 after a span of 32 years. He was sole selector when they repeated the victory in 1976, which precipitated the winning of the Leinster and All Ireland club Titles. They were the first Kilkenny, and Leinster team to win that Club Title, beating famed Blackrock in the Final. His CV is quite astonishing, when you see his input at inter-county level with Waterford (he took them to a Munster Final), Wexford, Laois (Leinster Final), Carlow, Armagh, Antrim, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, and practically every club within the Principality of Kilkenny. He repeated his Club achievements with Glenmore in 1991. He was a County minor selector in 1972 and a senior selector during the 1970s when some people would submit that that team was the best that Kilkenny produced bar none.
Georgie was blessed to be married to a Tullaroan girl (the Hennessy clan) whose family was steeped in the hurling tradition. “I mightn’t see Rita from one end of the week to the other, but she didn’t mind. I was very lucky, and fortunate to be married to her for so long”. As I write I am well aware of the grief that Georgie’s passing is causing to all of his family, and particularly to his rock, Rita. His friends- thousands in number- will miss the gentle giant, for whom the great GAA was the life-blood of his existence.
Rest easy dear friend. Your contribution will never be matched. The flame of your friendship with all of us over a long number of years will forever light our paths, until we too are called ashore. ‘Till that day, go néirí an bothar leat, agus go ndéana Dia troócaire ar do anam dílis.
Editor Kilkenny GAA Yearbook