Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club Remembers President Donal Kelliher, RIP

The late Donal Kelliher pictured with his wife Babs (back row third from left) beside another of the club’s lost treasures, Colm Kirwan at Divanes Castleisland for a 2016 presentation of the new strip to Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club. Included, front from left: Paul Langston and Stan Divane, Divanes Castleisland; Pa White, Stephen Bartlett, Tadhg Walsh, Ciarán Breen, Willie Dom O’Connor, Castleisland Desmonds and Gerard Murphy, Vincent Murphy Sports. Back row from left: Colm Kirwan, Babs and Donal Kelliher, Castleisland Desmonds; Denis Divane, MD Divanes Castleisland; Eamonn Fitzmaurice, Kerry senior football team manager; Jimmy O’Connell, club chairman Angela Ring-O’Donoghue and Seán McCarthy, Castleisland Desmonds and John Vahey, Divanes Castleisland.        ©Photograph: John Reidy 27-5-2016
Celebrity Bainisteoir, Derek Burke of Chrystal Swing pictured with four outstanding Castleisland Desmonds Club club servants at the Kerry County Council hosted civic reception to mark the club’s win in the All-Ireland Celebrity Bainisteoir, RTÉ TV series. From left: Donal Kelliher, Jimmy Greaney, Mary Horan and Seán Brennan. ©Photograph: John Reidy 9-2-2011
The late Donal Kelliher beside the late Gay Carty (back left) with the Castleisland District football team of 1966. Included are front from left: Tadhg Pairic O’Connor, Scartaglin; Mike Curtin, Desmonds; Patsy Pairic O’Connor, Scartaglin; Nicholas Kerins, James ‘Chassie’ Cronin, Noel Browne and Terence McQuinn, Desmonds. Back from left: Gay Carty, selector, Desmonds; Donal Kelliher and Mikey Joe O’Sullivan, Desmonds; Jerh Riordan, Scartaglin; Jerry O’Sullivan, Desmonds; Denis Riordan, Scartaglin; Jerry Coffey, Cordal; Aidan McGaley, Desmonds; Brendan Flynn, Cordal; Denis Geaney, Scartaglin; Garda Mick Behan, selector Desmonds and ??? If anyone can put a name on the child please do so in the comment spaces below or by text to 087 2359467

On his month’s mind Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club has paid tribute to a long serving player, official and club business stalwart, Donal Kelliher, RIP.

By Eilish O’Leary, Club PRO

Donal, who passed away on September 21st was involved with the club for many years and anchored the team at full back where he was aided and flanked by some notable players.

In fact, he was part of the most famous full back line the club ever had with Jack Nolan and James ‘Chassie’ Cronin on either side of him.

First North Kerry League Win

They were part of the team 50 years ago to win the first ever North Kerry League competition for the club.

Donal has been described recently as a ‘gentle giant’ who commanded the square and encouraged his teammates around him in his unassuming manner and in various ways.

His sons, Simon, Paul and Donal followed in his footsteps by playing in the blue and white for a number of years with the Desmonds.

Donal finished his playing career in the mid 1970s but remained heavily involved in club affairs.

North Kerry Board Delegate

He was a delegate to the North Kerry board and the county board, occupied the position of chairperson for a time and, to the time of his death, as president of the club.

He was said to be the ‘legal brains’ of the Desmonds club for many years in his occupation as

solicitor and he was involved in many field and club development projects over the years.

Treated Friend and Foe Alike

He also appeared on the golf courses in later years and had a very unique style of play, often keeping his teammates entertained with his various funny sayings and actions.

A most respected solicitor and businessman in Castleisland district and beyond and well known for

his skillful treatment of friend and foe alike.

A Minute’s Silence

The members of Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club wish to extend their heartfelt sympathy to his wife Babs and family: Simon, Paul, Kate, Thomas and Donal E.

Club officers and members observed a minute’s silence at a game in Caherciveen on the Sunday after his passing in their championship match against St. Marys.

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

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