Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Cill Mhantáin
In rural Wicklow the GAA is more than a sporting organisation. It is a way of life driven by people rooted in their communities.
Small parishes with strong personal ties. Social traditions and inherited order.
Without this understanding, it is not possible to grasp this evening’s recipient of the hall of fame to his commitment to Gaelic Games.
Down the decades many well-known and famous family names have adorned the Wicklow GAA sporting calendar.
This evening recipient of the hall of Fame comes from one such family.
With him club loyalty and county honour was everything.
His philosophy was love of club draws its strength from love of neighbours, fellow parishioners and the local community.
The traditions and way of life associated with one’s home place, its origins, club and county provide a sense of importance, belonging, and identity, shared goals and pride of place.
His lengthy career has left him a treasure chest of memories from which he can quietly ponder pleasure for himself and his family.
His involvement with his club stretches back seven decades and even today he still is part of the club. Willing to help when required.
While hurling was his first love his first county championship win was when his club defeated Baltinglass in the junior football final of 1960.
It was the beginning of a successful playing career that would span over four decades and see him contest seven senior hurling finals. Winning in 1964,’66 and ’83.
Thirty two years later from his first championship win he was on his club side that captured the 1992 Intermediate Hurling title.
He represented his county with distinction for many years and was corner back on the team that brought provincial and All-Ireland honours to the Garden County in 1971 when Wicklow defeated Hertfordshire after one of the most controversial three game All-Ireland finals for many years if ever.
He was a match official for several years and was in charge of county finals in both hurling and football culmination in being appointed to referee the county senior hurling final of 1989.
His contribution in the board room was exceptional. He served his club in many capacities including PRO and was secretary from 1974 to ’76.
He was chairman of the Old East District Board from 1969 to 71 and in 1977 was elected their secretary. He was also elected chairman of the county hurling board in 1982.
He was a valued member of the Coiste Condae for over twenty years.
This evening we honour a man who has given a life time of service to Cumann Luthchleas Gael to both club and county as a player match official and administrator.
We are delighted members of his family have joined us this evening.
I ask you to stand and give a rousing reception as Jimmy O’ Shaughnessy from Avondale enters the Wicklow GAA Hall of Fame.