Cannon, Barney

Born on St. Valentine's Day 1947, Barney served in the Irish army for 28 years, from 1969 to '97, but remained part and parcel of daily life in his beloved Kinnegad where he and his wife Ann reared four children, PJ, Mary, Martina and Bernard.

The GAA was especially close to Barney's heart and he was deeply involved with Coralstown/Kinnegad over many years. After finishing his playing career, he coached several teams, including the 1992 and '94 U21 and minor county finalists, as well as playing a great support role with the 1996 senior championship-winning side.

He had successful management spells with neighbouring Killucan and Shandonagh, and also had an involvement with the county U21 team. He took care of his players on and off the field, often forsaking his own night out at the weekend to bring home a young player who had one too many. He would spend hours talking to them and dealing with them and their problems, football-related or otherwise.

Barney also acted as groundsman for a period, and kept the Coralstown/ Kinnegad GAA pitch immaculate. When he took charge of the Coralstown/ Kinnegad team of the 1990s in a charity match against Mullingar Shamrocks in 2009, he got as much thrill out of the pristine condition of the pitch as from managing his beloved Reds.

Barney's oldest son PJ played for the club and was involved in training the under 21s last year.

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