Hereunder is a synopsis of The Munster Express report on the civic reception accorded to Seamus Grant by the Mayor of Waterford, Cllr Jack Walsh, at City Hall on December 1st last, in recognition of his outstanding service to the GAA.
“Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach,” were the closing comments of Seamus Grant when looking towards Waterford’s GAA future at the Civic Reception afforded him by Waterford City Council.
Seamus, known the country over through his long-standing service as Waterford GAA’s County Secretary between 1971 and 2007, won lavish praise from Mayor Jack Walsh, GAA President Nickey Brennan and Deise Board Chairman Pat Flynn.
Before a large assembly of family, friends and colleagues from both P&T/Telecom/Eircom and the GAA, Mayor Walsh recalled early meetings with Seamus when the latter’s work took him into South Kilkenny.
Seamus’s work with the Irish Post Office Engineering Union (IPOA) was also referenced by the Mayor, who went onto work with the GAA stalwart in Eircom.
“Seamus made a huge contribution to both the post office and the union, spending a couple of nights a week in Dublin when the time and issue so demanded it of him,” said Mayor Walsh.
“His was always a huge effort and a huge sacrifice, and that’s something which has also been consistently to the fore in his work with the GAA. The welcome at your home has always been warm and welcome and it’s an honour for me to recognise your contribution here tonight.”
In 1951, Seamus’s life in sports administration began when assuming the post of Juvenile League Secretary, where he remained until 1961 when appointed Secretary of the Eastern Division.
Ten years again passed until he was appointed County Secretary in 1971, in which he would establish himself as the longest serving such office holder in the modern history of the GAA.
As if he wasn’t busy enough during all this of this, raising daughters Aine and Miriam with wife Betty as well, Seamus also held the secretarial brief on the GAA’s Factory League committee.
“His has been a huge service,” added Mayor Walsh. “Year in, year out, Seamus has been an outstanding servant to the Association and is a fount of knowledge on both our national games and the all-important rule book.
“Thank you for what you have done for sport, both in the widest sense and for your own organisation, which you have served in such an outstanding manner.”
Uachtaráin Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Nickey Brennan spoke of his delight at attending a function honouring Seamus Grant, whom he said had been an excellent administrator at local, provincial and national level.
Mr Brennan extended good wishes from GAA Director General Padraig Duffy, and also reflected on Seamus’s many years of close co-operation with previous Ard Stiurthoir Liam Mulvihill.
“The role played by the County Secretary is crucial to the Association’s success and standing in every county and is an all-encompassing role which makes its office holder regularly wonder if there are enough hours in the day,” he said.
Added Mr Brennan: “Efficiency and courtesy have long been established as two of Seamus Grant’s trademarks and both are widely known and admired throughout the Association.
“As County Secretary, your door was always open, your family were always generous and accommodating to all, and I am delighted to be here as you receive the due recognition that your service to your county merits.”
Waterford GAA County Board Chairman Pat Flynn spoke of the immense contribution and “total commitment” that Seamus Grant had made to the Association in Waterford.
“The success that we’ve enjoyed in recent years is due in no small part to the hard work and long hours put in by Seamus,” he said. “Great credit is also to be extended to your wife Betty and daughters Aine and Miriam.
“There have been calls made to your house at all hours of the day and night for many years, and the courtesy and welcome afforded by your family has always been exemplary.”
Added Mr Flynn: “Seamus loves the game and has been a fixture on big match day and within the Association for several decades. We are, I have no doubt, a better Association because of him.”
And then the man himself spoke fondly of the many friends he’s made from his involvement with the GAA and his work with the Department of Posts and Telegraphs.
Seamus cited the role played by his late father and the Christian Brothers in establishing his grá for Gaelic games, which led to his becoming involved in the Juvenile League 57 years ago.
“I became County Rúnaí in 1971 and during all those years I encountered many great people across the county, province and beyond who went on to become great friends of mine,” he told the assembled throng.
“I’m delighted to see three former county chairmen here tonight with whom I served, along with many of my colleagues from Telecom, as well as my friends from the Bridge fraternity, which is a game I would recommend to anyone.
“And of course, I owe deep and heartfelt thanks to my own family – Miriam, Aine and Betty, whose love and support has always been so readily available.
“On behalf of all present, I would like to sincerely thank the Mayor for inviting us into the inner sanctum of Waterford City Council… Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach.”