Tipp hurlers rally around team-mate as he buries brother
on 18/08/2012 00:00:00
All-Ireland winner John has been named by manager Declan Ryan in the Tipperary team for their semi-final clash against Kilkenny and will line out in Croke Park just two days after burying his brother.
Among those who came to support the full-forward and the rest of his family were Tipperary players Noel McGrath, Conor O'Brien, and Conor O'Mahony, while former Tipp goalkeeper and manager Ken McGrath, All-Ireland winning captain in 1991 Declan Carr, and former county board chairman John Costigan were present from the wider GAA community.
As well as brothers John and former Tipperary hurler Paddy, the deceased is also survived by his other brothers Seamus and Ter and sisters Anne, Cathy, Maggie and Dilly. Both parents, Delia and Tom, are deceased.
Paddy O'Brien said at the end of the funeral Mass that Tommy was "the ultimate older brother" who was "incredibly and quietly proud" of his younger brother's achievements on the hurling field.
A "gentle giant," he was bright and intelligent and had a great interest in politics, sport and current affairs. "He would put you to shame with the depth of his knowledge. Enhancing this intelligence was a sharp and cutting wit and a wonderful sense of humour."
Well-known and well-regarded in the village of Toomevara, where he lived for some years, he loved listening to the radio, was a lifelong Chelsea fan, an "incredibly talented soccer player", and loved the Off the Ball sports programme on Newstalk, which "mixed all his favourite elements - sports, humour, and intelligent conversation".
Parish priest Fr William McCormack described yesterday as "a sad day" and said that Tommy had lived "a short life, relatively speaking, but he did bring much happiness in that short life to his family and all who met and knew him".