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Statement from Chair & Committee

posted 13 May 2019, 01:31 by St Johns GAC   [ updated 13 May 2019, 01:32 ]
Last week we lost a fighter, last week we lost Siobhan. To us in St John’s she was a shining light in a rural GAA club – a dedicated player, a mentor, a coach, a committee member, one of the founding members of our Healthy Club, a dancer, a fundraiser, a volunteer – she packed a lot into her 26 years and we were lucky to have her from the start. Above all, a kind selfless person who dedicated her life to the ethos of the GAA in pursuit of living her life serving her club as best she could, just as her father Brendan and Uncle PF have done as former Chairmen and as her sister Grainne continues to do as a player and committee member alongside her brother Ciaran, a senior player.

Often we think that the proudest moments of any club or sporting organisation come in the celebration of hard fought victories or trophies won but this week has been amongst the proudest moments and we didn’t even kick a ball.  The commitment, dedication and selflessness that we witnessed over the last few days from our  members, players, volunteers and community is worth more than any win or any trophy. The values of the GAA and the values we try to hold dear are about more than how we conduct ourselves on the pitch. 

     The sad terrible news of Siobhan’s untimely passing on the Monday night was news we could barely accept. We knew from our previous gathering of hope and prayer that her illness was at a very advanced stage, but we held on to hope. We couldn’t accept that the wonderful person we had known so full of life and such an active member in all aspects of club life would no longer be with us. 

     As Siobhan’s fight had touched so many people, it was expected that many people would wish to attend her wake and funeral service. Club members, Senior Men and Ladies players, volunteers under the guidance of Siobhan’s family members came together to try and help manage the huge number of people wishing to say goodbye. Others in our GAA family and surrounding clubs supported us in any way they could.

The St. John’s Hospitality and Funeral help group who volunteer continually to help grieving families, set about organising the hospitality needed on a large scale and were joined by others in our community who just wanted to help. From outside our club and outside our tradition but from within our local community, neighbours and businesses came with offers of land for parking, lighting, use of minibuses and help with all aspects of catering. These acts of kindness allowed everyone to pay their respects and show their sorrow and we will be forever grateful. 

     In essence an army of people mobilised to make sure that our club returned the commitment that Siobhan had shown every time she pulled on the jersey. Indeed had it been anyone else Siobhan would have been first there herself. 

There are so many people who have given so much in time and effort over these past few days that it would be impossible to name everyone but to all of you on behalf of the Committee and wider club members we say ‘Thank You’. 

To Brendan, Geraldine, Ciaran, Grainne and Mark, we extend our sympathies and we are only round the corner should you ever need us. To the wider McCann family circle and to all the St John’s members particularly senior ladies and mens teams who were especially close to Siobhan and her many friends – our doors will always be open and we will support you in any way we can.

     I will conclude by saying that the red and yellow we wore with pride as Siobhan wished, embody the aspirations of Friendship, Commitment and Teamwork. Our club will continue to remember those as the identifiable traits of our late playing member and dear friend, Siobhan Mc Cann. RIP

-The Chair and Committee of St John’s GAC Drumnaquoile.