The unexpected death on Saturday last, May 7th, at his home in Grattan Street, of Peter Fennell, has cast a gloom over Portlaoise GAA club.
Peter was a great servant of the club and was one of its most loyal and dedicated members.
Peter’s involvement goes back to the 1960s and ‘70s, in which he was one of a great crew looking after the juveniles, which included the likes of Bill Phelan, Peter Carroll and Ollie Byrne.
They enjoyed outstanding success in both codes but Peter’s particular love for hurling gave him the greatest satisfaction when the Town teams won the big Feile competitions. These successes led to the emergence of the super Portlaoise hurling teams of the 1980s and later.
His greatest memory was Portlaoise winning the All-Ireland club football title in 1983. His greatest regret was not winning the Leinster club title in 1987. In his memories Peter blamed the referee for the defeat and he said he told him so when he met him many years later.
While Peter admitted he was not very good as a player in either hurling or football, he was gifted with the pen and used it to good effect with the club. He capably filled many officer roles over the years and was Club Secretary for three years just before the millennium.
Peter was a quiet modest man with a good ear for listening, full of gentle wit and a ready smile. He grew up in great GAA family and was always proud of the achievements of his siblings.
Despite being in indifferent health for many years, he never allowed it to dampen his cheerful outlook on life, nor his great interest and love for his club. His loss to the ranks is immeasurable.