Derrygonnelly Harps GFC is a sorrowful club today, having lost one of the most influential figures in its history with the sad passing of Master Michael Farrell. Michael’s involvement in our activities dates back almost a full seventy years, to when our club was relaunched in 1948, fielding firstly a Minor side, and then a Junior team. He and others such as Tom Fee were involved as we got moving again at Flanagan’s field at Drumadillar.
Over the decades which followed, our club has had the benefit of his leadership, guidance and wisdom as we moved to Sandhill, then opened Canon Maguire Park, and subsequently developed it to the fantastic facility which our members have today. Michael has been our club chairperson, County Board representative, Grounds and Infrastructure Development Committee member, referee, underage team manager and organiser, our club president, author of our club history and so much more. We are forever indebted for his work with the Sports Council and other bodies, securing funding and also liaising with awarding groups, ensuring that we were seen as a well run, forward thinking club, whose plans were likely to be successful and worthy of investment. As our Community Liaison Officer he foresaw the need for Gaelic clubs to be open to other groups in the community, and to develop relationships. Michael was a man of vision, but also a man of action, working with others to turn vision into reality.
We are a proud, successful club today, but we look back with great gratitude that we had Michael Farrell in our club, a man of great wisdom and calm, coupled with determination and commitment to move our club forward. The theme of legacy is central to many organisations like ours. He hands care of the club on to the next generation of members, whose duty it is to look after it and develop for the following generations. It is so important that we never forget the great work by people like Master Farrell and many others no longer with us. One can imagine his reunion with the likes of Charlie Farmer, Tom Fee, Eamon Maguire and many other Derrygonnelly people in Heaven!
So we are sorrowful today, but glad that we knew him and worked with him. We know that there a number of other organisations in our area who have lost a great friend and leader also, and we express our sympathies to them.
But our sincerest condolences go to his wife Nicolina, his daughters Catriona and Siobhan, his sister Josie and his entire family circle.
God rest his soul.
Michael’s remains will be leaving his house on Wednesday morning for 11am funeral mass. Every club member, young and old, from whatever unit of the club, who can attend is asked to be at St Patrick’s for 10.30 in club colours for a guard of honour.