It was with deep and heartfelt sympathy that we learned of passing of Fr. Patrick Moran OSA on the morning of July 9, 2014.
Fr. Moran from Croughta, Goatenbridge was a former Principal of St. Augustines College in Dungarvan, where he was very much respected by Staff and by Pupils and all those connected with the College.
Fr. Moran had been involved with Ballybacon Grange Hurling Club since he was a juvenile, attending school in Crough, Goatenbridge.
He served as President of the GAA Club for many years.
Fr. Pat, as he was known far and wide, hurled with club for years, and in 1980, a special effort was made to restore the club to its former glory on the playing fields after a few lean years.
Selectors were appointed at the start of the year and a trainer was appointed for the first time in many years.
Fr. Pat was a young man when he took on this task of training the Intermediate hurling team.
He used new ideas in an effort to get players interested.
He was the first trainer to use video recorders to point out where players were going wrong, and it worked well when we went on to win a South Final.
Fr. Pat continued to train our Intermediate team for many more years, and brought the team to a final again in 1984.
After his success with the adult players, he turned his attention to setting up juvenile training every Tuesday night, and this training continued ever since on Tuesday nights from March to September every year.
He very seldom missed this training, regardless of how busy his schedule was.
He travelled from Dungarvan to Goatenbridge every Tuesday night without fail.
He took great enjoyment in teaching juvenile players the skills of hurling and the chat that went on at training every week discussing weekend matches.
He introduced new ideas every year, as he was very well up to date on all new coaching methods.
He introduced Player of the Week last year, and this was well appreciated by all the players who tried their best to get this plaque.
Fr. Pat moved this between all young players to ensure that a different player won it every week.
He had a keen interest in all players in club and how they were progressing through different grades.
The success enjoyed by Club in recent years in Minor and Under 21 and Intermediate can be traced back to his weekly training sessions on Tuesday nights.
He would often speak on Tuesday nights after training of ideas which he had for the betterment of the club going forward. Fr. Pat loved attention to detail and was a strong believer in good communications.
At the Centenary Year in 1984 it was decided that the club should produce a Club History and Fr, Pat was in agreement with this idea at the Annual General Meeting, not knowing that he was going to become the Editor.
As usual, in his own efficient way he produced the Club History from the foundation of the Club in 1928 to 1984. Fr. Moran was a very well qualified coach and was well respected in every county he served.
In 1980, after winning the Divisional title, the late Tommy Shine was tragically killed in an accident.
Fr. Moran decided to hold an Anniversary Mass for all deceased club members and this Mass was celebrated every year since in Ballybacon Church first and then in the clubhouse in later years.
There was always a big attendance present as Fr. Pat always had a story to entertain the Mass goers.
After his spell in St. Augustines in Dungarvan, Fr. Moran moved to St. Augustine’s Priory in Washington Street, Cork.
Shortly after his move he celebrated an Anniversary Mass for the late Christy Ring with over 1000 people present to honour the Cork hero.
Back in 1954, when Christy was in digs in nearby Grand Parade, he won his eighth All Ireland hurling medal and he donated this medal to St. Augustine’s to have it fitted to the church’s artistic chalice.
Fr. Moran brought this Christy Ring Chalice to Goatenbridge for all to view when he was celebrating the Annual Club Mass.
Fr. Moran then moved to St. Augustine’s Church near O’Connell Street in Limerick, where he was Bursar.
Fr. Moran was mindful of many people away from home and he helped to set up a live broadcast of Mass from his church for the people to connect with on the Internet.
He continued travelling to Goatenbridge every Tuesday night for training as usual, whether it was from Dungarvan or from Cork, or indeed from Limerick.
Fr. Pat had a special way with all players and he never sought the limelight.
He was always encouraging players to develop to their full potential and to be sporting at all times.
Fr. Moran was a young person at heart, which explains his enjoyment with working with young people at college and in sport.
Fr. Moran made many friends in Waterford over years due to his interest in sport.
He was Chairman of the Park Hotel Sports Star Awards for more than 23 years.
This job involved meetings with fellow judges for presenting the monthly award as well as the annual award and they would have presented over 276 monthly awards since its inception.
The Annual Award is the highest honour for any Waterford person to receive in their own county, and Fr. Pat said that 2014 was very difficult to select a winner with many people in different sports in the running as well as the Waterford Minor hurlers winning an All Ireland title last year.
However, the award after much discussion went to the Ireland ladies’ rugby captain Niamh Briggs.
His fellow judge and friend Kieran O’Connor from Waterford Local Radio said that Fr. Pat was a proud Tipp man, but Waterford was a major part of his life.
Even after he was diagnosed with his illness, he lived with the same enthusiasm to stay active and involved as he had always done.
Fr. Moran was honoured by St. Augustines College in Dungarvan earlier this year for his work in the College when part of building was named in his honour.
Fr. Pat was invited back in May to bless and officially open, ‘Moran Corridor’, which shows the respect they had for this man and for what he achieved in his time as Principal.
Fr. Moran always made himself available to our club and no task was too difficult for him.
We officially opened our new playing pitch back in 1997 with a match between Tipperary and Waterford in senior hurling.
Fr. Pat used his connections with the Waterford County Board and then manager Gerald McCarthy to ensure everything went according to plan on day.
It was very fitting that his remains reposed in the clubhouse in Goatenbridge where he had spent so much of his time.
The attendance that evening for his reposal by people from all walks of life showed the great respect in which he was held.
Requiem Mass was held in Ballybacon Church the following morning, the Church packed to capacity with a large number of Fr. Moran’s fellow priests concelebrating the Mass.
We extend our deepest sympathies to his brothers, John and Jim, sisters Nora and Mary and to all his extended family and friends.
His place in the history of Ballybacon Grange GAA Club is assured. He will be greatly missed by us all.
May the sod of his beloved Ballybacon rest gently on his soul and may he rest in Peace.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.