Passing of a great Killarney Golf Club stalwart

The late Ralph O’Connell, former Captain and President of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club.
Picture: Don MacMonagle

THE death has occurred of well-known and very popular Killarney resident Ralph O’Connell who was one of the main driving forces behind the success and growth of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club down through the years.

Originally from Dublin but resident for many years in Killarney, where he and his wife, Hazel, raised their two daughters, Ralph was very actively involved in community life in the town that became his home.

Through his work with John Player, he was very engaged with the staging of the hugely successful Tops of the Town talent show which was one of the social highlights of the years in Killarney – and throughout the country – for many years.

He was also to the forefront of the annual ladies’ basketball tournament which attracted several hundred female basketball players, from all over the country, to Killarney every year.

Ralph was also very actively involved in the Happy Hearts Foundation and he helped generate substantial funds for the organisation.

A very keen golfer, Ralph brought a dynamic approach to a number of roles he filled at his beloved Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, serving as club captain in 1997 and as president from 2002-2004.

He was also to the forefront of Killarney’s standing of the prestigious Irish Open Golf Championship, supervising the stewarding arrangements, and he later became secretary of Ross Golfing Society.

From Woodlawn Park in Killarney, he passed away on Tuesday in St Joseph’s Nursing Home in Kenmare where, his family said, he received exceptional care.

Ralph O’Connell is survived by his wife Hazel, daughters Nicola and Philippa, grandchildren Katie, Jack, Rachel, Sarah, James and Harry and sons-in-law Tom Murray and Darren Knight.

He is further survived by his sisters-in-law Wendy, Edel and Ursula, nephews, nieces, many other relatives and a wide circle of friends.

Ralph was predeceased by his brothers and sister, Stanley, Marjorie, Frank and Jim.

In accordance with government and HSE guidelines, in the interest of public health, a private funeral will take place and those that might wish to offer condolences online can do so on Several messages have already been posting remembering Ralph as a true gentleman and a great neighbour.

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