GAA Football

Paddy Kindlon: a true Crossmaglen Gael to the very core

Joe McManus

A lifelong affinity with Crossmaglen Rangers GFC has been sadly broken by the recent passing of the club’s 89-year-old honorary president, Paddy Kindlon.

A native of Drumcatton, Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, he had been living in Cross for 60-plus years following his marriage to the former Mary Hughes, from the town, who predeceased him a number of years ago.

A true Gael, he became involved in the club back in the 1950’s serving on the committee for many years.

He was also a senior team selector during the management term of the late John Martin.

He loved the old traditional style of catch and kick football and knew all about the days of changing behind the hedge and kicking through the rushes.

He had many amusing little anecdotes to tell about that seemingly forgotten era.

Paddy was a Rangers’ fanatic who just lived for the club.

He was never one to hide; when there was work to be done, he could be counted on.

His roles over the years included groundsman, caretaker, social club duties and the weekly Lotto.

As a dyed-in-the-wool Cross supporter, he was widely known right across the county and further afield.

As each new Championship season dawned he enjoyed nothing more that renewing old friendships many of them of 50 years standing.

His three sons Paddy, Gerard and Joe all wore the Cross jersey; Gerard who had also a spell with the county won minor, U21 and senior championships with the club in 1977.

Paddy was a man of exceptional capabilities and steadfastness.

He recognised the need for active participation in the day-to-day running of the numerous activities in which the club was involved.

He became a committee member for longer than most people can remember, never seeking the glamour of high office but always willing to take on the more obscure duties for which thanks and even recognition are frequently lacking.

He was so chuffed when the club honoured him with the Presidency in recognition of his lifetime’s service, contribution and commitment.

As a mark of respect, a minute’s silence was observed by the 7,000 attendance at last Sunday’s County Final and on their way home the victorious Crossmaglen team called at the wake with the Gerry Fegan Cup.

It was also paraded during the Offertory Procession at the Requiem Mass in St Patrick’s Church, Crossmaglen this week.

The true value of a clubman like Paddy Kindlon is difficult to measure, said former Crossmaglen chairman Eddie Hughes.

“He wasn’t from the town, but made it his own,'' he said.

“He got involved engrossed in many aspects of community life, particularly the football club.

“Paddy did a lot of work for the club, his roles were manifold, starting off by marking out the pitch and went on from there.

“He was real gentleman, quiet and unassuming and nothing was too much to ask.

“His heart and soul was in the club, an exceptional volunteer who had a real passion for the Association and all it stands for.”

Senior team manager Donal Murtagh described Paddy as “a larger than life character” who created a positive atmosphere around the club.

“He was a very jovial man who always had a smile on his face,'' he said.

“He was always in good form and everyone got on well with him; he was such a highly respected figure around Cross.

“He was caretaker for many years and was familiar with the various teams from underage up.

“He was the type of man who would have lit up any dressing room with his cheerful presence, friendly smile, witty and jocular nature.

“I could never remember Paddy that he hadn’t a smile on his face, He was such an integral part of the Cross set-up over the years.”

Paddy’s motto was always if you want to be a jockey you must wear the colours, thus he was never one for half measures.

To his sorrowing sons Paddy, Gerard and Joe, daughters Carmel (Treanor) and Ann (Harland) and extended family circle deepest sympathy is extended.

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

(Tribute by Joe McManus)

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