Tipp's 'Butler' Coffey passes away at 101

December 30, 2010
It is with regret that the Tipperary County Board have announced the death of former Tipperary hurler Jimmy "Butler" Coffey on Wednesday at the ripe old age of 101.

A native of Newport, Jimmy was born on October 26th 1909. Jimmy played for the Tipperary Minor Hurlers for three years, capturing All-Ireland honours in 1930. He graduated on to the County Senior Hurling panel in 1932 before making his Championship debut in 1933. For the next eight years, Jimmy held his place on the Tipperary panel, winning an All-Ireland medal at wing-forward in 1937 against Kilkenny, marking the legendary Paddy Phelan in a game played in Killarney due to on-going work to Croke Park. Jimmy won a Railway Cup medal in 1938 on a star studded Munster team which included Jack Lynch (Cork), Timmy Ryan (Limerick) and John Maher (Thurles Sarsfields & Tipperary) among the substitutes.

Jimmy played club hurling with his native Newport in the 1930s, winning North Tipperary Senior Championship medals in 1932 and 1935. Following his retirement from inter-county hurling, Jimmy played his club hurling in Limerick, winning County Senior Hurling medals in 1947 and 1948 with Ahane before winning a Limerick Junior medal with Cappamore in 1949. Having retired from hurling in the early fifties after a career that spanned four decades, Jimmy trained the Cappamore team and helped bring county honours in both junior and senior grades. Jimmy was also a selector on the Limerick team that won the Munster Senior Hurling title in 1955.

In recent years, Jimmy was renowned for his capacity to recall games of the past in great detail. His love of the game remained undiminished to the end. At the recent All-Ireland medal presentation for the 2010 Tipperary Senior Hurling team, Micheál Ó'Muircheartaigh mentioned his conversations with Jimmy "Butler" Coffey and Martin White (1937 Kilkenny hurler) in recent times as one of his highlights.

On behalf of the Tipperary County Board, we express our heartfelt condolences to the Coffey family at this sad time. Funeral arrangements as follows - Reposing in Meehan's Funeral Parlour Cappamore on Friday the 31st from 3pm to 6pm with removal to the Church in Cappamore. Requiem Mass Saturday the 1st at 11.30pm with burial after Mass in Cappamore.

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