The late Jackie Hogan of Collins Park, Carrick-on-Suir was lauded for his selfless work for Carrick Swan GAA Club in a moving eulogy at his funeral Mass at St Nicholas Church in Carrick-on-Suir on Sunday, May 17.
The eulogy was delivered by Swan Club Secretary Sean O’Shea, who extended the Club’s deepest sympathy to Mr Hogan’s wife Nancy, sons Jimmy and Derek, daughters Jacqueline, Doreen, Natalie and Kelly-Ann, his brothers and sisters and extended family and friends. He described Jackie as a proud Irish man, Gael, Tipperary man, Dublin man and a diehard Swan man.
Mr O’Shea recounted that Jackie was born in 1942 in Ard Mhuire in Carrick-on-Suir, the fifth eldest of 13 children born to his late parents Jimmy and Angie. He is survived by his brothers Eddie, Liamie, Michael, Tony, PJ, Gerry and Francis and his sisters Patsy, Bernie, Ann and Nuala and was pre-deceased by his brother Jim.
Jackie’s father Jimmy played with the Swan Club’s predecessor, Greenside Rovers, in 1926 and captained the first Swan team to win a championship in 1932. His father worked in the civil service and played with the Swan Club before his job took him and his young family to Dublin. Jackie regularly visited his late aunt Mary Morrissey in Carrick and it was during one of these visits that he caught the eye of a young Nancy Fleming, who also comes from a long established Swan family.
They married on May 31, 1964 and moved to Dublin where Jackie got work in CIE but later returned to Carrick to set up home. It was fitting that 22 Collins Park became the family home as Jackie’s hero was Michael Collins. While his political affiliation was to Fine Gael, he never forced his opinions on you, Mr O’Shea recalled. He served as the local Fine Gael branch secretary for many years.
Mr O’Shea also recalled that Jackie Hogan’s house was always festooned in colours when GAA matches were played, be it the black and white of the Swan, the blue and gold of Tipperary or the blue and navy of Dublin.
Jackie followed the Dubs with passion. He was thrilled when Tipperary won the Tommy Murphy Football Cup in 2005, with the Swan Club’s Benny Hahessy as a player. But above all else was the pride he had when his son, Derek, wore the Tipperary colours.
He was the epitome of what a good club man should be. He was a player, a selector, divisional referee, first aider, club caretaker, football secretary, assistant treasurer and supporter. He took particular pride in using the “cúpla focail” at committee meetings.
He was a club caretaker in the 1970s and became a friend and father figure to anyone who came in, ably supported by his loyal and great friend Jimmy O’Halloran, He was a confidant and adviser to the youth, and was highly respected. He had a great sense of fun, and once played a Christmas snooker competition in the club dressed in a tuxedo as he mimicked the snooker stars on television.
Mr O’Shea recounted how Jackie helped organise the children’s Christmas parties and back in the early 1980s, he asked Jimmy Fahey to play the part of Santa.
They borrowed a pony and trap, and the plan was that Santa would ring a bell as he arrived at the Swan Club. The bell was late arriving and Santa left for the Club without it. Jackie, in the meantime, got hold of the bell, and when Santa pulled up at the Club, Jackie rang the bell, which startled the pony, resulting in mayhem. Santa held on for dear life as the pony and trap bolted down the main road with 200 excited children giving chase.
His own playing career spanned a long time and he won medals in both hurling and football. He won a junior hurling medal in 1984 at the age of 42, and when the Swan were short of players for a junior match 10 years later he togged out at 52 years of age, which is surely a club record.
In the last number of years, Jackie stepped back from Club duties due to ill health. But he maintained his interest in the Swan Club.
Mr O’Shea described Jackie as a true gentleman, who had a smile for everyone and a lovely humility that endeared him to all who met him.
He was also very much a family man, who adored his wife Nancy and was proud of his 6 children, 25 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. He watched his sons and grandsons wear the black and white jersey and also watched his daughters and granddaughters support or play camogie with the Club. He also watched with pride as his younger brother Tony served and continues to serve the Swan Club.
“You may not see Jackie’s name on the list of our greatest medal winners, but you will see his name rightly acknowledged by every true Swan person as a man who gave selflessly to the Club.
“It is this giving which far outweighs and is more valuable in the long term than medals.
“It is men like Jackie Hogan who kept the Club to the fore, as they gave their all for the black and white cause.
“It was Indira Gandhi who once said: ‘there are two types of people; those that do the work and those that take the credit’.
“Jackie Hogan did the work but did not seek the credit.
“His loss to the club is massive but the loss to his family is even more so,” Mr O’Shea added.
Jackie Hogan was laid to rest in Faugheen Cemetery after his funeral Mass.