As Croke Park prepares to appoint the Waterford GAA County Board’s first full-time secretary – understood to be much-admired Clashmore clubman Timmy O’Keeffe (no relation) – our thoughts are with the family and friends of former Runaí, Seamus Grant, who passed away early on Tuesday morning.
As his great personal friend, journalist and ex-county chairman John A Murphy said on Sunday, the Mount Sion stalwart was “one of the greatest administrators the GAA has known”, giving well over four decades of service, an astonishing 37 years as secretary, before stepping down at the end of 2007.
Just keeping things ticking over in much tougher times than these was often a thankless task, but Seamus applied himself to the job tirelessly and always put the Association and games he loved before personal advancement or privilege.
GAA President Nickey Brennan, who spoke on Saturday about the unique empathy of the GAA community at the time of his own mother’s passing the other week, was special guest at a civic reception Mayor of Waterford Jack Walsh accorded Seamus, despite the recipient’s reluctance, in December.
No-one knew on that occasion that the final whistle would sound so soon, but it was fitting that Seamus was honoured while he was still among us.
His death, and the deserved tributes that have been paid, are recorded in our news pages. To Betty and family, this column and this newspaper, to which Seamus was a great friend and excellent servant for almost half-a-century, offers its sincerest sympathy.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.