All-action sporting hero fondly remembered

The late Shane O’Donoghue

THE son of a great Killarney sportsman has been honoured by the college he attended four years after he lost his battle with cancer, at the age of 35.

Shane O’Donoghue passed away on Christmas Day 2016, at his home in Palos, Chicago, after a long illness during which he underwent 15 surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and drug therapy.

The son of the late Lawrence O’Donoghue, formerly of New Street, Killarney, Shane has now been posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame by Moraine Valley Community College in recognition of his brilliance as a point guard for the college basketball team from 1998 to 2000.

All-action hero: Shane doing what he loved best

In his freshman year he was the top scorer and most valuable player and he inspired the team to finish in the final four in the national championships and his inspiration also saw the college impress in All-Region, All-Conference and All-Region IV tournaments.

Shane’s dad, Lawrence, is fondly remembered as one of Killarney’s best ever sportsmen, having played international basketball for Ireland and being part of the all-conquering St Vincent’s squad that swept the boards at national level.

Star man: Shane in his playing days

He was also a very stylish footballer with Dr Crokes and was undoubtedly Kerry senior team material.

Lawrence, the son of the late Roddy and Joan O’Donoghue, of New Street, instead opted to chase the American dream when he emigrated to the US at a young age. He married and settled down with family there until he lost his life in a motor accident in Chicago, in September 1989, also at the age of 35.

Shane’s mum, Eileen, accepting the Hall of Fame award at the college ceemony

Like his late dad, Shane went on to become a top class basketballer and he also played with Chicago Parnells Gaelic Football Club.

He was a proud graduate of Assumption College, Worcester, MA and a real young sporting hero and adventurer who loved to travel.

Shane’s Hall of Fame award was accepted at the poignant college ceremony by his mum Eileen (nee Cronin) – whose father and mother were from Sneem and Kenmare respectively – and it was a proud occasion too for his sisters, Meghan and Colleen, as well as several uncles, aunts and cousins in Killarney.

Shane’s uncle, Kerry Diocesan Youth Service CEO, Tim O’Donoghue, told “It is a lovely honour and an acknowledgement of his skills as a basketballer as well as his inspiring character as a person”.

Tim added: “It is wonderful to see him celebrated in this way”.

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