03 July 2012
One of Lismore's Greatest - Jimmy Geoghegan
In any era Jimmy Geoghegan will lay justifiable claim to being among the greatest of the great Lismore hurling clubmen.
It was with a mixture of shock, deep sadness, and virtual disbelief then that I learned last Thursday of his untimely death at the Cork University Hospital in the presence of his loved ones. He was just sixty five years of age, but sadly had not been in the best of health for some time.
My long time memory of Jimmy Geoghegan is of his sturdy, indeed his indestructible, frame positioning itself on the fringe of an opponent's square and giving as fine an exhibition of full forward play that you would ever want to see. In a great era for Lismore hurling Jimmy was a veritable tour de force, and of course he deservedly went on to win inter county recognition at minor, Under 21, and senior level for his beloved Waterford.
The year of 1967 was most probably his finest in the black and amber colours of Lismore. That year he was a star among many stars on a magnificent club side that rampaged to the Western and county Under 21 hurling titles, and he then featured with equal prominence on the club's junior team ---again at full forward---as that county title was also captured to land an historic and indeed a fabulous Under 21-Junior hurling championship double for the club.
His medals collection in fact had its origins back in 1959 the same year that Waterford won the All-Ireland senior title for only the second time. He was a member of a brilliant Lismore CBS team that won the Rice Cup that year, and it was a competition that would catapult Jimmy to a position of hurling prominence that he would never again surrendered.
He also won a county intermediate hurling medal when Lismore defeated Tramore in the 1969 county final, and his contribution to elevating the club to senior status could never be overstated. To this very day Lismore share with Mount Sion the distinction of being the only other club on the county to retain its place in the top flight.
His other honours include a Sargent Cup (senior hurling) medal with Lismore in 1976, while he garnered West and county junior football medals when playing with neighbours Tourin as they won these respective titles in 1971.
Great hurler that he was however, I will always remember Jimmy Geoghegan as the fin and honourable sportsman that he unquestionably was. Yes he could take punishment all levels of it, but he could also take care of himself on those playing fields, and he never dished out to an opponent what he wasn't prepared to take himself in return.
As honourable and decent a human being as you would ever want to meet or to know, I will always retain the most fond memories of a super hurler and en equally impeccable sportsman. Lismore has indeed lost one of it's all time greats.
Following his funeral Mass in Douglas in Cork city last Saturday, Jimmy was laid to rest in St. James Cemetery, Chetwynd. To his wife Jean, his son Ruairi, his daughter Maeve, his brothers, sisters, and extended family members the heartfelt sympathy of the column and columnist is extended.
Courtesy of the Waterford News and Star, July 3rd, 2012.