Article from the Grange Parish Book suggested for reading this week (week 17)
Michael Weekes - GAA Man Extraordinaire
This week (week 17) our suggested Grange Book article for reading is about Michael Weekes of Holycross. Michael was very recently a contestant on the TV lotto show Winning Streak. We congratulate Michael on his success on the show and we wish him and his family well into the future. Well done Michael!
As many people will know, Michael has been throughout his life and continues to be a passionate supporter of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). A great exponent of GAA games, he was a marvellous hurler in his day, and he went on to give of his time, expertise and organisational ability to the GAA at the club, county, provincial and national levels.
The success of the Limerick Senior Hurlers in the 2018 All-Ireland Championship must have brought Michael great joy and pride.
However, Michael has more than one string to his bow: a great family man first and foremost, Michael had a very successful managerial career in the retail world, and he has a proven first-rate record in research and writing. It was for his latter skills as well as his organisational abilities that Michael was invited to become a member of the small management committee that guided and oversaw the production and publication in 2015 of the Grange Parish Book. Michael's contribution and influence were critical and very significant.
Michael's book committee colleagues decided that the book ought to carry an article on Michael's life, especially his great GAA achievements. Consequently, committee members assembled the article titled Michael Weekes - GAA Man Extraordinaire.
The following are extracts from the book article:
"His early playing career saw him win an East Limerick minor football medal with Caherline in 1961. During the time of his first employment in the 1960s in Dublin, he joined New Irelands Hurling Club and played senior hurling in Croke Park on a few occasions.
In 1975, Ballybricken won the East Limerick Junior Hurling Championship, ending years of frustration and near-misses. In the final, Ahane were defeated by 2-5 to 0-9; of the winning score, Michael had a personal tally of 2-4, displaying all of his immense style and craft."
"He was associated with the organisation of Féile Na Gael in Limerick in 1973/1974, serving on two committees. He developed a special relationship with the Carrickmacross GAA Club in Co Monaghan, which he visited in 1974 with the McCarthy Cup in the company of some well-known Limerick GAA 'All-Stars'. The Limerick senior hurling team overcame Kilkenny in September 1973 to win the All-Ireland, a feat that has not been achieved since - how Michael would relish a repeat!"
[Michael's wait was over in 2018!]
"In 1983, he attended a one-week county senior hurling coaching course at Gormanstown College, Co Meath and was presented with a coaching badge."
"He was a selector for the Limerick minor hurling team for six years from 1980 to 1985. He was a proud selector when the minor team defeated Down in the All-Ireland Semi-Final in 1984 and again, soon after, when the team won All-Ireland honours in the same year. Anthony Madden from Lower Grange played on the team and earned his All-Ireland medal as a great hurling exponent."
"He was a county senior hurling selector for four years (1992-1994), during which time Limerick won the Allianz National Hurling League in 1992 and reached the Munster Final against Cork the same year.
He was a selector with 'Babs' Keating (Tipperary) and Gerald McCarthy (Cork), when Munster won the Railway Cup Hurling Competition in 1992, after seven years."
"The Munster Club Junior ‘A’ Hurling Tournament, ran by the Bruff GAA Club, was the brainchild of Michael’s and became a major competition, culminating in an All-Ireland series. He organised the Munster division of these games for eight years over the period 1995-2008."
"He proposed to the County Board in 2000 that a Limerick hurling masters team (over 40s) should participate in the All-Ireland Masters Championship, which commenced in 1991. Agreed by the County Board, he was elected team manager for seven years up to 2006. Over that period, two All-Ireland titles were won in 2002 and 2004. The motto of the ‘Masters’ was 'We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing'. Sadly, the masters hurling and football championships have been discontinued.
A mark of the man - over the seven years, Michael organised friendly games, raising almost £26,000 in aid of Milford Hospice, Castletroy, and Limerick."
There is much, much more about Michael Weekes to be read in the book article.
Next week (week 18) we will suggest another article for reading.
Kind Regards to All.