Tributes paid to a great sportsman and gentleman

The late Donie Kelly is remembered as a real gentleman

Donie Kelly, who was laid to rest today in Killarney, following his death on Saturday, was remembered at his Requiem Mass as an outstanding sportsman who excelled at Gaelic football, soccer and basketball.

He won numerous honours in all three codes and he was one of the players involved in the early development of the game of soccer in the town.

Donie was a key member of the famous Red Devils team that blazed a trail in the town basketball leagues in the 1960s and he was also involved in the local soccer leagues when he lined out alongside the likes of Richard Clifford, Timmy Looney, Albert Spillane, Jimmy Clifford and Philip Brady.

From Upper Park Road and late of Dalton’s Avenue, Donie worked at the Liebherr Container Crane factory in Fossa for close on 50 years and he was a skilled craftsman who could turn his hand to anything.

He started with the company as an apprentice in 1963 and remained there until his retirement.

Donie Kelly (second from right) pictured in 2018 at a presentation to Ian O’Connell following a pitch and putt competition in memory of Donie’s younger brother Ricky who was a stalwart at the Deerpark club. Also included are TJ O’Sullivan and his father Patrick, Ger O’Connor, Noel Moynihan, Mike O’Connell, Damien Fleming and Jason O’Connor

Following Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral this Tuesday morning, celebrated by Killarney Parish Administrator Fr Kieran O’Brien with Canon Tom Looney and Fr Paddy O’Donoghue, Donie was laid to rest in Aghadoe Cemetery.

Fr O’Brien said Donie was gifted with his hands and always willing to help people with expertise and advice on how best to do things.

“He was a man of perfection but, at the same time, easy-going, unassuming, very caring and very gentle. He possessed all the right qualities,” he said.

Fr O’Brien said Donie enjoyed a game of cards and thought nothing of travelling the county do so and if he was to reflect on his life, he would probably conclude that he got a great deal and he wouldn’t do a thing to change it.

Predeceased by his wife, Hannah, his parents Dan and May, and his brothers Justin and Ricky, Donie is survived by his daughters Brenda and Joan, sons David, Justin and Alan, fiancé Helen and grandchildren Colm, James, Hannah, Dawn, Nicole, Ben and Robert.

He is further survived by his sons-in-law John Kelliher and Seán Cronin, daughters-in-law Margaret and Sarah, his brother Seanie, sisters Betty, Ena, Eileen and Carmel, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, other relatives, many good friends and his former work colleagues in Liebherr.