There was shock and disappointment when Eddie Lonergan announced his decision to retire as secretary of Cahir GAA Club after 41 years of dedicated service as secretary of the Club. Eddie has served with 12 different Chairmen since he took over as Secretary in 1981. John Casey was Chairman in 1981, followed by Jerry Tarrand in 1982, Mossie Hyland in 1983 and 84, Michael Costello 1985 to 87, John Casey 1988 to 1990, Dan Costrigan 1991 to 93, John G O’Donnell 1994 to 96, Pakie Hyland 1997 to 2004, Denny Whelan 2005 to 07, Larry Molan 2008 to 2010, John O’Connor 2011 to 2016, Pat O’Brien 2017 to 2019 and Larry Queeney 2020 to 2023 and everyone of them was full of praise for the dedication and efficient way that Eddie carried out his role. As a player, Eddie played mainly as a back and won a County under 15 football Championship in 1967 when Cahir defeated Kilruane McDonagh’s in the final in Semple Stadium. This success was followed in 1969 by a South under 17 championship victory. Eddie was corner back on the Cahir football team that won the inaugural intermediate championship in 1979 and the Senior Football league in 1980. Football was Eddies first love but he always trained with the hurlers and played in goal in many Cahir hurling teams.
Eddie’s first role in Club administration was in 1973 when he took on the role of treasurer, and in 1981, he was elected secretary of Cahir GAA, a position he held until today, 41 years later. His attention to detail and record keeping was second to none, and his annual secretary’s reports presented in booklet form give a detailed and comprehensive account of all Club activities and are kept by many as collector’s items. Eddie also acted as co-ordinator for the County Board draw and the Club’s draw the Joker. Eddie attended every training session and often had to attend training in Duneske GAA field before transferring to the main GAA field for another teams training session. Eddie rarely missed a match in the park and he was always first there and last to leave to ensure everything was in order. Eddie has overseen huge changes in the club from the days we were togging out in the boots of our cars. The first two dressing rooms were completed in the late 1970s followed by the new dressing rooms in 2005, the erection of the stand, the purchase and development of our Dunesk GAA field, the provision of lighting and enclosure of that field, followed by the development of the main field with an all-weather pitch and the full enclosure of the main field. He has been a constant presence ensuring everything is recorded and all work is done properly.
In 1987, Eddie took on the role of Secretary of the County football Board and gave 23 years’ service to football within the County. Here also Eddie displayed his skill at record keeping and his annual reports were always of the highest standard. During this period, Tipperary enjoyed many successes, Munster final appearances, All Ireland B success, Munster under 21 winners and especially the Tommy Murphy Cup winners in 2005 and the resultant trip to New York which Eddie really enjoyed.
The Club is grateful to Eddie and his family, particularly his mother Margaret for all the work she did for the Club over those years. There were no mobile phones back in 1981, and Margaret was always busy taking phone calls and messages when Eddie was out. She has washed and ironed thousands of jerseys for the Club over the years and always had them folded, packed and ready for the next game. The Club is grateful to Eddie and his family for the office they have provided in their house over the last 41 years and it’s still a hive of activity with people dropping off County Draw tickets, joker tickets, collecting jerseys and balls or just dropping in for a chat with Eddie who is always available. We wish Eddie many more years of happy involvement in Cahir GAA Club and hope to see him at all the games just like he has done for the last 50 years.