Profile: Brian Stack

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Brian passing on his love of hurling to his sons, Austin, Kieran and Oliver.
Brian Stack was an active member and great supporter of Portlaoise GAA club all his life. He played football and hurling up to and including senior level and was a well-known inter-county referee.

He was also very closely associated with the local boxing club along with Garda Bill Blackwell and others during which time the club had many famous boxers and many famous wins. He was an important part of the close links that have existed over the years between Portlaoise GAA and the local boxing club.

Brian looked after many successful juvenile teams and was a very effective delegate to the Football and County Boards in the late 1950s and 1960s. Larger than life, he was always at hand when help was needed. He loved his club and his dedication and enthusiasm spilled over to inspire others to greater effort.

Married to Sheila Donoghue, also from a long established and well respected Portlaoise family, it was little wonder that their three sons, Austin, Kieran and Oliver, followed in their footsteps in their love for the town and the club.

Then on the night of March 25th 1983, Brian was struck down from behind by a cowardly gunman as he left the National Boxing Stadium in Dublin. He survived until 29th September 1984 when he slipped away to his eternal reward much to the grief of is wife and family and the community in which he gave such loyal service and in which he was loved and admired.

Brian was born in 1935 and joined the Prison Service in August 1959. He was appointed Chief Officer in 1979 and worked during a time when Portlaoise Prison housed many infamous paramilitaries. It was a very stressful environment in which to work but Brian organised social events and helped build a community spirit amongst prison staff and their families which greatly relieved the stress of his fellow officers.

In the weeks prior to the fateful night Brian had two of his proudest moments. One was in seeing his son, Oliver, win a Leinster boxing title and the other was witnessing his beloved “Town” capture the All-Ireland club football title.

Brian’s commitment and dedication to his family, his club, and his community will be long remembered in the town he loved so well.
Brian Stack pictured with a display of boxing trophies.
Brian (extreme left front row) pictured on a Prison Officers outing in 1963. Back: John Ennis, Mick O’Dwyer, Jack Fennell, John McAuliffe, Tom Quinn, Pat McPherson, Jim Donnellan, Barney Travers, Joe Kavanagh. Front: Brian Stack, Paddy Delaney, Mick O’Reilly, Joe Tierney, Mick Dalton, Paddy Crossan, Sean McCrann.

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