KILDARE OBITUARY: John Reidy, Clane

Former county and Clane hurling manager, John was a brilliant family man with a great love of sport

Leinster Leader Reporter

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KILDARE OBITUARY: John Reidy, Clane

John and his wife Catherine

There was huge sadness in Clane recently at the death of popular local man, John Reidy. His daughter Emma has paid tribute to a brilliant family man, a dedicated father and loving husband.

“There are no words that can adequately express our family’s great sorrow at the huge and sudden loss of such a kind, loving and gentle man, a man that I am so proud to be able to call my Dad,” she said.

“Our shock, our sadness and grief are immense but we want to look back on the fond memories of a brilliant family man and the great partnership that my Dad and Mam had together.”

John was born on August 29 in 1958, the eldest of five siblings.

“His mum, Granny Reidy is a special lady who loved Dad and taught him how to be a good human being through her wonderful example,” added Emma.

“Granny says Dad started walking at nine months and never stopped. Dad was always involved in working the farm at Rosemount. When he was in sixth class in national school, he started his summer job in Ballywilliam creamery where he met all the great characters in the parish.

“From his wages, he purchased a big black Raleigh bike with gears lights and it even had brakes!

“Dad worked part time for John Joe Slattery in his pub and John Joe often told us after John left to work in Chadwicks his business halved. He told us that John’s charisma brought all the teachers and sports people through the doors.

“Dad and Mam met in the Premier Hall in Thurles. They have always been Tipperary through and through despite living in Clane for almost 40 years. They had a truly marvellous marriage, they were always so united and so unbelievably close.

“They were together every weekend taking trips to hurling matches up and down the country.

“Their dedication to each other and to our family is inspirational, and they both instilled a great sense of family values and love for others into Paudi and I.

“Our home is always open, and everyone is welcome for tea and brown bread. I remember someone saying that you’d only have a hand on the handle of the back door and Mam would have the kettle boiling — she is the fastest woman to the kettle ever — and my Dad would only be too delighted to have a great chat with you.

“The companionship, closeness, love and mutual respect that they have always had for each other is truly remarkable and special. They epitomise teamwork.

“Dads first love was our Mam, but a very close second was hurling. His passion for Tipperary hurling was unrelenting and how he would have loved to see Tipp’s great victory over the old enemy, Kilkenny, on Sunday last – All Ireland Sunday.

“All Ireland hurling final day with Tipp playing was bigger than Christmas in our house. The joy and euphoria after a Tipp victory was second to none.

“Despite being in hospital for the All Ireland, Dad’s biggest concern was getting the Tipperary flag up. We all expected him to be home for the match but alas, it sadly wasn’t meant to be. I knew if they didn’t win with you up there looking down on them Dad, they never would.

“Dad was also very involved in Kildare hurling, he trained both club and county teams with honour and dedication.

“One of Dads proudest moments was donning the Clane jersey with my brother Paudi and the second son in our house David Harney.

“Dad was so proud of Paudi and of all your achievements, both on and off the field.

“In recent years Dad and Paudi worked together and Dad really enjoyed this. They were the best of friends and those memories and that bond will remain forever.

“Dad really loved Paudie’s wife Caroline, who is from Wexford and my husband Adrian. The only times that love might have wavered was when Clane were playing Coill Dubh in the championship or when Tipp were playing Wexford.

“Dad always said that Paudi and I didn’t know how lucky we were with the people we married because, when you marry someone it’s not just them you get but you also get their families and that we were blessed with the McAndrews and the Doyle’s.

“Dad knew this because the O’Dwyer and Reidy families truly were joined when Mam and Dad got married and have shared the joys and the sorrows of life ever since. The two families are incredibly close, and we are so grateful for that shared love.

“It would be remiss of me not to mention Dad’s other hobbies which he adored. He loved shooting from an early age. When shooting season came around, he and his brother, Paddy, would meet his pals Maurice and Mike Leamy at 6am and get a few hours in before school at 9:15am in the CBS in Nenagh. Dad still loved it to this day.

“In later years he adored the days out with Seymour’s golf society and the craic with the lads in Portroe. When teeing off, Dad would take out his driver and say to Paddy, keep an eye on this.

“Dad, I will always fondly remember all your help with odd jobs around my house, there were lots of little jobs done on the QT. One phone call to my Dad and he’d say, ‘I’ll be up this evening’ and would arrive with his box of tricks and the job would be done.

“I’m so thankful for all the memories I have of your frequent visits and help no matter how big or small. The night before my wedding there was an army of women staying in our home and Dad was the only man.

“I don’t think he had ever seen as much makeup, fake tan and rollers in his life but he was loving the craic.

“He spent the night laughing and chatting with the girls. I remember all of us sitting at the kitchen table with Mam and Dad and I thank God that kitchen table can’t talk, or we would all be in trouble.

“Dad idolised his four grandchildren, who were his pride and joy, Lauren Beth, Claudine, Tess and Billy. I pray that your beautiful Grandad will stay in your memory forever and that you four will inherit his traits of compassion, love, loyalty and hard work.

“I know that you will look down and watch over them forever more Dad. As for Dad and I where do I begin? Dad would do anything for me and I for him. Dad, I will always treasure the time we had together, and I am so grateful for all you did for us, for the values you lived by and instilled in Paudi and I.

“From the day I was born you have done everything you could for me with pure love.

I outgrew your lap Dad, but I’ll never outgrow your love.”

John Reidy, late of Moate Commons, Clane and Rosemount, Carrigatoher, Nenagh passed away on August 16. He is survived by his loving wife, Catherine, son Paudie and daughter Emma, son in law Adrian, daughter in law Caroline, mother Emma, grandchildren, brothers Paddy and Michael, sisters Josephine and Una, and extended family.