It was with extreme regret that Maryland club members learned of the passing in July of club president Tom, who was regarded by many as 'Mr Maryland'. A founder member of the club back in 1957, he gave freely of his time in helping to put in place many of the fine facilities which the club now enjoys.
Tom's death at the age of 81 following a long battle with illness leaves a huge void in Maryland GAA. For many years, he collected the admission fee at the gate and always greeted spectators with a smile and a chat. His humour, dry wit and straight talking were what endeared him to many.
He took immense pride whenever a Maryland man pulled on the maroon and white of Westmeath. Indeed, he was heard to say "I can die happy now!" many times as previously uncaptured titles came the county's way over the past two decades.
Tom also took great satisfaction from Maryland's feat in winning the inaugural Celebrity Bainisteoir competition in 2008, which was followed by a long overdue breakthrough in the intermediate championship. In his younger days, he played football with the old Drumraney club as well as a bit of hurling with Southern Gaels.
Paying tribute to the Walderstown native, who was married to Maureen and was father to Anne, Mary, Katherina, Therese, TP, Tony and Kevin, Maryland chairman Paul Browne said: "He had a huge interest in underage and club development and was a true gentleman. For the club, he'll be irreplaceable and very sadly missed.
"All he talked was positive. He was typical of a great GAA clubman and embodied everything good that the GAA stands for."
In a fitting farewell, a 100-strong guard of honour was provided by his beloved club on his final journey to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Drumraney.