January 01, 2001
The GAA community in Mallow received another body blow when the popular Michael McCormack was called to his eternal reward on Sunday 13th January. People in East Cork in particular will recall the two exciting games between Mallow and Killeagh in the TSB County Intermediate Hurling Final where both sons of Michael McCormack, Fergal and Michael Jnr, were playing. All in the East Cork Division will join with the thousands from all over the country who were present at the removal and burial in paying their respects to the McCormack family. Michael was born in Kilross in West Tipperary and was educated at Abbey CBS in Tipperary town before moving to UCC where he received his BA degree.
At just 58 years of age, this popular employee of Dairygold Co-Op was renowned for his love of the GAA and in his earlier days was a player held in high esteem by all who knew him. At schools level he won Harty Cup Medal with Abbey CBS before going on to college in UCC. Here, too, he excelled and has the unique distinction of having been on the successful league sides which won the Sigerson Cup in football and the Fitzgibbon Cup in hurling. Michael played Senior Intercounty football for Tipperary and was named on the West Tipperary team of the century. He moved from Ballincollig to Mallow in 1983 when he took up a position as secretary of Ballyclough Co-Op, now Dairygold, where he will also be sadly missed. He is survived by his wife, Noreen, who is a sister of Kerry great Mick O'Connell, sons Fergal and Michael and daughter Aoife, along with family and friends. May he rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Also called to his eternal reward on the same day was former Cork great Denis "Toots" Kelleher. The Millstreet maestro, who was on the Millstreet team that captured their first and only Senior Football title in 1948, as a 17 year old, was to go on to become one of the best footballers ever to don the county jersey. He was a county minor in 1948 and also in 1949 before making his senior debut in 1950. He was a regular on Cork football sides in the 1950s and played a leading role when the county contested successive All Ireland finals in 1956 and 1957. Although he never won an All-Ireland medal, his talent deserved that he be remembered by all who saw him play as one of the very best. Following his 10th successive Munster final appearance in 1958 he retired from the county scene. He is survived by his sons and daughters, Bill, Jim, Barry, John, Val and June as well as other family and his many friends who were present to pay their respects at the removal and burial. May he, too, rest in peace.
- courtesy of the Imokilly People
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