There was a sense of disbelief and shock throughout the village and the parishes of Ardfinnan, Grange and Ballybacon, and South Tipperary, at the death last month of Freddie Quinn, the former Ardfinnan GAA player and club chairman.
The GAA club committee had their monthly meeting on the previous Tuesday night and a get well message was expressed, with everyone present expecting him to be back amongst them very soon. Sadly it was not to be.
Freddie married Bernie in 1973 and they had three children - Siobhán, Aidan and Colm. He was a great family man who led by example and in later years the closely-knit Quinn family’s lives were further enriched by the arrival of their four grandchildren - Caoimhe, Lucy, Bríd and Alex.
From an early age Freddie showed a keen interest in football and played at full back in the club’s first ever South Minor football championship-winning team in 1961 and they added the County title a few weeks later.
In 1962 Freddie played at centre back for the Ardfinnan team that retained their South and County Minor titles. That same year Ardfinnan won the South U-21 title, when he played wingback.
In 1962 Freddie also made his senior debut for Ardfinnan, playing in goal, and he won South and County football medals in his first year as a senior player. He also gained recognition at county level and played for Tipperary Minor footballers that same year.
In 1963 he won South and County U-21 medals and also South and County Senior Football medals, while he added South U-21 medals in ‘64 and ‘65 and South and County senior medals in 1964.
When his playing career ended he became a member of the club committee in 1969, a position he held until his death. He also took up the of role of selector on both juvenile and adult teams and was a selector on the Senior team that won the South and County titles in 1974.
Following a term as juvenile club chairman and senior club vice-chairman Freddie became chairman of the club in 1996, a position he held for two years. He was also the club’s delegate to the County Football Board and South Tipperary Board.
He was always steadfast in his beliefs, he commanded great respect and liked to see the club players fully togged out in club colours and on the field for matches on time.
Throughout his life he attended all games the club played and never missed a league or championship game that the Tipperary footballers played, always attending in the company of his lifelong friend and colleague Pete Savage. Both of Freddie’s sons, Aidan and Colm, are also former senior players with Ardfinnan.
When the club field was opened in 1988 Freddie played a leading role and when work needed to be done in the dressing rooms or in the field he was always present to carry out the work. When the dressing rooms were upgraded last year he played a key role in the work, giving his time unselfishly to ensure its completion.
How fitting that following the announcement of his death the club flag flew at half mast at the field, a timely reminder of his contribution to the club.
The club formed a guard of honour at Grange Church at his removal and the huge numbers that attended the funeral were testimony to the esteem and respect in which he was held in the community.
Sincerest sympathy is extended to his wife Bernie, daughter Siobhán, sons Aidan and his fiance Sharon, Colm and his wife Alma, grandchildren Caoimhe, Lucy, Bríd and Alex, brother Alec, sister Kathleen Halpin, extended family and friends.
May he rest in peace.