KERRY and Munster champions Dr Crokes have honoured a great club stalwart in a very meaningful way.
The stand in the club grounds on Lewis Road has been dedicated to the late John F Moynihan, a former dynamic and forward-thinking club secretary who later became president of Dr Crokes, a position he held for over 20 years up to the time of his passing in 2017.
The official dedication ceremony was presided over by club chairman Patrick O’Sullivan with Canon Tom Looney and Fr Paddy O’Donoghue – both passionate black and amber supporters – performing the blessing.
John was club secretary during World War II, which was a difficult period for any sporting organisation with problems fielding teams, sourcing boots and finding playing gear but he displayed great tenacity and persisted with the task at hand which was rewarded when Crokes won the Junior East Kerry League in 1944.
Club historians often point to that success as the turning point for the club as prior to that, the Dr Crokes club was very close to going out of existence.
John, late of York Terrace, became secretary of Dr Crokes shortly after he joined the Killarney Mineral Water Company in 1939. The manager of the company at the time was that great Dr Crokes clubman, Eugene O’Sullivan, who along with another clubman, Johnny O’Halloran, recognised his ability and persuaded John to become involved.
Although he moved to live in Tralee in the 1950s, to work with Fitzgerald Brothers, John remained a true Crokes man and he returned to Killarney at every available opportunity to watch the team in action or to catch up with old friends and fellow officers.
In latter years he regularly came to Killarney on days of important championship games but as the action commenced, John was more likely to be found in a local cemetery praying for the right result.
The memorial plaque erected on the stand dedicated to his memory reads: “He has been an inspiration to all with words of encouragement. He took immense pride in the club’s latter day achievements”.
Special guests at the unveiling included his daughter Geraldine, Margaret O’Leary, daughter of club legend Small Jer O’Leary, and club veteran John Coffey, from Lewis Road, who is now in his 99th year.
John F Moynihan passed away, at the age of 97, on St Stephen’s Day 2017.
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