St Paul's GAC mourns the passing of club legend Joe McCartan
THE funeral of CLG Naomh Pól legend Liam Joseph ‘Joe’ McCartan will take place in west Belfast on Thursday.
The 77-year-old passed away at his home in Coolnasilla Park East last Sunday after a long battle with illness.
Joe is pre-deceased by his wife Maura and son Liam, and survived by his children Fiona, Grannia and Conor and his adored grandchildren Cara, Cormac and Cillian.
He is also pre-deceased by his mother Rita, father Jack, brother Thomas and survived by his sisters Kathleen and Philomena and brothers Jim, John and Eamonn. His great passion was for the GAA and particularly CLG Naomh Pól, Béal Feirste.
He started playing for the club in the late 1950s and, in later years, he excelled in the administration of the club.
In his roles as secretary and chairman, McCartan was the driving force behind many of the club’s key milestones, including the relocation to the Shaws Road, the development of the pitch, the construction of the club rooms, handball alleys and changing rooms. In a statement to The Irish News, Joe’s brother Eamonn described him as “a dedicated GAA man”.
“My brother Joe devoted his life to St Paul’s,” he said.
“He had three loves: his wife, the west coast of Ireland and St Paul’s. “He, along with others, took St Paul’s from being a team that gathered on the corner of Hawthorn Street to being a club with breath-taking modern facilities. “He put in place a development plan to build a connection from juveniles up to the senior team.
“He was to be found in St Paul’s seven days a week – in fact, his wife said he should bring his clothes with him because he might as well have lived up there!
“He was a dedicated GAA man who provided tremendous opportunities for young people, and he provided for them a framework for behaviour in life, which was something that stayed with those young kids forever and was embedded in their lifestyle.”
Joe’s remains will leave his home at 46 Coolnasilla Park East at 12.45pm on Thursday afternoon before a Requiem Mass, which will take place at St Agnes’ Church at 1.30pm, followed by his burial at Hannahstown Cemetery.