‘Maureen always had a supportive word – and was never in flat shoes’

Sports fanatic Maureen Kelliher pictured when she met soccer legend Ray Houghton

THE parish of Glenflesk and the wider Killarney community was shocked and very saddened to learn of the death, at a young age, of the hugely popular Maureen Kelliher who passed away, unexpectedly, at her home in Artigallivan, Headford on Wednesday.

A real community woman and a great mum, who adored her four children, she had been battling with multiple sclerosis in recent years but she coped with her condition with great courage and tenacity and she was determined to live her life as normally as possible.

Just weeks before her sudden passing, in fact, she travelled to Croke Park to watch her son, Marc, win an All-Ireland Minor Championship medal when he lined out in goal for Peter Keane’s Kerry side. It was one of the most memorable moments of her life.

The sporting exploits of her two boys, Roy and Marc, were always a source of immense pride to Maureen who was an ever-present on the sideline, cheering them on and willing them success in whatever sporting code the versatile young athletes opted to pursue.

Roy was one of the stand-out performers with the Glenflesk senior team this season and he also enjoyed a great run with Killarney Celtic in the FAI Junior Cup and in the domestic game last season.

Maureen (seated, left) with neighbours at a parish fundraiser

Formerly of Reen, Templenoe, Maureen, who was in her late 40s, was one of the founder members of the Glenflesk Ladies GAA Club and her contribution to the organistion, at all levels, has been lauded by club development officer Derry Healy.

“Maureen was held in very high regard by everyone. She was well thought-of and hugely popular,” he said.

“Despite her illness, she didn’t miss a game and even in more recent times, she would use a walking aid to ensure she got into the grounds to watch the action,” Derry added.

In recognition of her enormous contribution to club and parish life, the Glenflesk Ladies GAA Committee will provide a guard of honour at the funeral.

A spokeswoman for the ladies described it as an extremely sad and difficult time for everybody.

“Maureen will be fondly remembered. She brought amazing drive and passion to the different roles she held within the club, as an officer, a coach, a taxi driver, always with a supportive word and a comforting shoulder – and never in flat shoes,” the club said.

Maureen (seated, far left) at the launch of a fundraising coffee morning in Glenflesk

“Maureen showed huge dedication to her adopted club of Glenflesk and had pride in each and every girl that togged out in the blue and gold. We will ensure her legacy lives on”.

In a statement, Killarney Celtic FC said Maureen was a huge part of the club, as a mother, a member, a supporter and, most of all, a dear friend.

“She travelled the whole of Ireland to support Killarney Celtic and we cherish those dear memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with her loving family,” the club said.

Killarney Celtic will also form a guard of honour at the funeral.

Reposing at Murphy’s Funeral Home, Barraduff this Friday evening from 7.00pm, removal will take place at 9.00pm to the Sacred Heart Church, Barraduff.

Requiem Mass will be on Saturday at 11.00am with burial afterwards in the New Templenoe Cemetery.

The family has asked for donations, if desired, to be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Association and the Irish Wheelchair Association.

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