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‘His smile settled many nerves on big game days. His love of Kerry GAA was well known’

The late Maurice (Moss) Spillane was one of the most dedicated Kerry GAA men in the country.
Picture: Fitzgerald Stadium FB

PAST and present Kerry football stars, county board officials, clubs and supporters have paid warm tributes to the late Maurice (Moss) Spillane who was one of the most instantly recognisable and popular personalities involved in the GAA in the county.

Originally from Scartaglin but living in Balloonagh Estate, Tralee for many years, Maurice – who passed away on Tuesday – was an ever present volunteer at Kerry’s home games and club fixtures and, more often than not, he could be found manning the gate on to the pitch at Austin Stack Park in Tralee or stewarding at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney.

Paul Geaney: Big welcome

Kerry star, Paul Geaney, remarked: “RIP Mossie Spillane. Always gave me a big welcome to Stack’s Park on game days with the club and county. I’ll miss that”.

Former Kerry regular and St Mary’s clubman, Bryan Sheehan, described Moss as “an absolute gentleman” who gave everyone a warm greeting.

“Always a great man for a chat and words of encouragement. Will be greatly missed,” he said on Twitter.

Marc Ó Sé said: “Not alone did he give us all who were lucky to tog off in Austin Stack Park a great welcome, but he also gave students at the Green CBS a warm welcome in Caherslee every day of the school week. A gentleman.”

His brother, Tomás, added: “I loved the chats I had with him”.

Eoin Liston tweeted: “So sorry to hear of Moss Spillane’s passing. RIP #gentleman”.

The Kerry County Executive members said they were shocked and deeply saddened by news of the death of a very good friend.

“His smile settled many nerves on big game days. His love of Kerry GAA was well known,” a statement read.

“He had the respect, trust and friendship of everyone. We have lost a great man,” the board added.

Tomás Ó Sé: Loved the chats

The Fitzgerald Stadium Committee said members learned of Maurice’s passing with great regret and extended heartfelt condolences to his family.

St Pat’s GAA Club in East Kerry remarked: “What a helpful and cheerful man Moss was. Calm under pleasure. Always had a kind, friendly word for players, management, officials, reporters, photographers and supporters”.

Austin Stacks GAA Club stated: “The lynchpin of Gaelic games in Caherslee will be sadly missed” and a message of sympathy from the Dr Crokes club said Moss looked after them on their many visits to Austin Stack Park.

GAA commentator Marty Morrissey said on Twitter: “Sorry to hear the news of the sad passing of a great Kerry GAA man. Moss was one of the first stewards I met when I visited the great Kingdom of Kerry. Always welcoming with a lovely smile”.

Maurice, who passed away on Tuesday last, is survived by his wife, Mary, daughters Michelle, Tracey, Deirdre and Ashling and grandchildren Ryan, Ríona and Kealan.

He is further survived by his brothers John, Don and Michael, sons-in-law Bernard Downey, Thomas O’Connell and Craig Gillon, nephews, nieces and many other relatives and friends.

A private family funeral will take place and it will be streamed on www.stjohns.ie at 10.00am on this Saturday. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.

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