GAA Acknowledgement to Leo & Sean.
Published on Southern Star - 15th April 2017
As we approach Easter we reflect on the recent loss of both Sean Dineen and Leo Meade who were such an integral part of our club for so many decades. Both stalwarts will be sorely missed not only in the GAA club but also to the wider community to which they gave so much.
Sean and Leo experienced success together when in 1965 Sean lined out with the combined parish team under the name of Argideen Rovers to complete a double success, the team having also won the title a year earlier against Kilmacabea . A young Leo Meade was among the selectors along with Jackie Deasy, Dan Murphy, Jerry Holland and Ted Holland. Sean was a classy forward and soon earned his place on the junior team playing in both the 1967 and 1968 finals against Bantry. He made a huge contribution to the club as a volunteer and as a selector on many teams down through the years. In what was one of his proudest days he was one of the selection committee who brought the U21 County Hurling title back to the village in 2013 after an epic match with Watergrasshill in Pairc Ui Rinn. The Dineen family gave the use of one of their fields in the early 70s to facilitate matches and training before the club finally found a permanent home in 1978,
The link with the Meade family and the club goes right back to its foundation with Leo’s father William making one of his fields available to the club for matches and training in the mid -1940s. It was a tremendous gesture in those days with a buoyant atmosphere in West Cork due to the success of the county team in 1945 which led to the formation of many clubs in the area. Indeed Bal chose the colours of the county team as their jersey. The first game played in the Meade field was a match against a team from the Kilmalooda Flax Mill who employed a large workforce from the area and beyond. Leo would have been young at the time but as soon as he reached his late teens he became involved in the GAA club both on and off the field. His contribution as an officer over the years include serving as club Secretary, Chairman and as a delegate to the county board. Indeed Leo was chairman of the club during the golden hurling period with victories in 1997, 1998 and 2000 in what was an unprecedented period of success. He was a top class referee for many years and the man with the whistle at senior football matches across the county. Playing typically in the full back line he took the field against Dohenys and Bandon in the divisional finals of 1959 & 1960 and was also part of the team who suffered the agonising defeat to Bantry in 1969 when Bal really left the game after them with Hunt and Barron mustering up a goal to give them victory by the narrowest of margins. Some measure of recompense was achieved in 1971 when Bal did manage to overcome the ‘Blues’ in the league final.
The year 1971 proved to be very successful one for Leo with his involvement as a selector with the Carbery senior football side along with Seanie Crowley, Denis O’Donovan and Mick Banbury. This talented side defeated Avondhu, Muskerry and Nemo Rangers before taking the title against a fancied UCC side in the final. The students included star names like Moss Keane, the Lynch brothers from Kerry and Dan Kavanagh. Bal’s Facthna Murphy played midfield alongside Bobby Evans of Skibbereen with Teddy Holland lining out at wing forward. Ger Holland and Paddy O’Flynn were also on the panel. This was a team that also included fantastic footballers like Tony Murphy, Diarmuid Mawe, Johnny Crowley, Brian Desmond, Denis McCarthy, Donal Hunt and Declan Barron as well as the Kehillys of Newcestown.
We must also take pause to remember two former club members who passed away in relatively recent times. John Nyhan was a founder member of the club and served as an officer in the early years. He took a keen interest in all club related activities and was on the winning 1956 side. He was a close marking defender in his prime and used his physical strength to great effect on the field. Also on that team was Ritchie Jennings, late of Ballyduvane who played in the forward line during that successful championship and in the formative years of the club.
Ar dheis De go raibh a nana macha dilis.