The passing of Dick Butler in his 91st year has removed from our midst a fine family man, farmer, historian, sportsman and community man.
Dick excelled at sport especially hurling, football and athletics.
At 15 years of age he won a South Tipperary Minor Hurling Championship, the first minor title for Ballingarry. The following year he won South Junior in hurling and was a substitute on the Junior Football team that won the County Final.
Dick played Junior Hurling and Football with Tipperary and in that same year Captained Ballingarry to South victories in junior hurling and football. Two years later he led Ballingarry to win the South Senior Hurling Championship. The years ’51 and ’52 were very special to Dick and his team mates as they won the Co. Tipperary Senior Football Championship.
He was an able administrator and served as Chairman of Ballingarry GAA for 17 years and also served as Secretary and Treasurer. He served as Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of Ballingarry Fianna Fail Cumainn and as Treasurer of Slieveardagh Comhairle Ceanntair.
He was blessed with a lovely singing voice and was a member of the Parish Choir for 74 years. Dick enjoyed travelling and with family members he visited Chicago, Richmond, (Virginia, USA), Paris, Old Trafford -a family gift for his 80th birthday, he cruised the Mediterranean and travelled to Vertain, France to view the Thiepval Memorial which bears the name of his Uncle William and many others killed in the Battle of the Somme.
Dick was a member of the Cashel Historical Society, and as a historian he was gifted with great powers of recall and was always very willing to share his knowledge of people and events.
The huge gathering at his removal to Ballingarry Church and at his Requeim Mass spoke volumes of the impact Dick’s life had on so many. Fr. Derry Quirke was Chief Celebrant of the Mass at which Dick’s children and grandchildren participated in the liturgy. Dick’s grand-daughter Mary Stafford sang ‘Amazing Grace’, one of his favourite hymns and music throughout Mass was by the local choir.
Dick was laid to rest with his wife Kathleen who died in 1995.
He is sadly missed by his children - Triona, Noreen, Tom, Mary, Edel, Richard, Stephanie and their partners, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, brother-in-law Michael, relatives, neighbours and friends.
Think of him in his playing days – A Tall, Athletic, Skilful, Determined and Brave Hurler and Footballer.
THE HURLER’S PRAYER
Grant me O Lord, a hurler’s skill,
With strength of arm and speed of limb,
Unerring eye for the flying ball,
And courage to match whate’er befall,
May my stroke be steady and my aim be true,
My actions manly and my misses few,
No matter what way the game may go,
May I rest in friendship with every foe,
When the final whistle for me has blown,
And I stand at last before God’s judgement throne,
May the great referee when he calls my name,
Say, you hurled like a man; you played the game.