Entire community shares family’s grief

The late John Burke

OFFICERS and members of Milltown/Castlemaine GAA club were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of club stalwart and president John Burke.

From a footballing stronghold of Ballygamboon Lower, Castlemaine and a family that also included his talented brothers Jim and Willie, John was a powerful footballer who represented Milltown/Castlemaine, Mid Kerry, South Kerry and Kerry with distinction.

Winning Mid Kerry Championships in 1957, 1961 and 1962 brought John to the attention of those involved in the Kerry set-up and he played with both the county seniors and juniors in the early 1960s.

His work in the Department of Agriculture brought him to Mayo and South Kerry before he settled in Rathpook, Milltown and after his playing days finished, he took to the club’s administration side.

As chairman he oversaw the club capturing its first county title, when they won the County Novice Championship in 1979.

He also served as a selector at every level and was a great advocate of local talent. A tireless worker for the club, his knowledge and experience helped to mould many future officers and trainers.

John served as club secretary until the early 2000s before he was appointed president.

Milltown/Castlemaine club PRO Deirdre O’Sullivan said while current restrictions in these strange and challenging times didn’t allow members to bid a last farewell in an appropriate manner, fitting to a great clubman, the family can be assured that the entire community shares their grief.   

John is survived by his wife Frances, his sons Liam, Sean and Seamus, daughters Maura, Siobhán, Noirín and Deirdre; brother Jim, sister Nora and many other relations and friends.

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