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‘Very sad day’ as Kilkee says goodbye to Kieran Marrinan

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Flags at the grounds of St Senan’s Kilkee GAA club were flying at half mast as the community gathered online to pay their tributes to Kieran Marrinan who was buried today (Sunday).

Kieran died suddenly on Thursday, his passing causing shock and upset in the coastal town of which he was an immensely popular figure. The family operated Marrinan’s Bar on O’Connell St, a location of many memorable moments that individuals recall of Kieran and Neil Diamond songs.

Blue and white, the colours of his beloved St Senan’s Kilkee draped the coffin along with a club jersey and a picture of the 1984 senior championship winning team, Kieran lined out at corner-forward on the side. He was a current trustee of the club.

In 1989, he collected his second medal and was a selector when the Saints overcame Doonbeg following a replay. It was after a replay again in 2003 that Kilkee defeated Kilrush Shamrocks to get their hands on Jack Daly with Kieran a delighted manager on the occasion. The David Russell captained side would go on to contest the Munster club final that year where they suffered a two point defeat to the Ó Sé inspired An Ghaeltacht.

Speaking at Sunday’s funeral, Fr Gerry Kenny described it as “a very sad day”. He commented on Kieran’s sudden death, “everybody was shocked, it was very unexpected”. Fr Kenny spoke of the loving relationship Kieran had with his family and believed the “precious time” they had together would be cherished and witnessed how “so proud” Kieran was of his family.

Family members only were allowed to attend the funeral and the Kilkee parish priest acknowledged all of the “people gathering on the web” to watch the mass, a viewing habit that has become the norm during current COVID-19 restrictions.

Gratitude to the doctors, medical staff, first responders, ambulance personnel and An Garda Síochána was voiced by Diarmuid Marrinan. “The show of support” from the community of Kilkee “will be forever remembered”, he remarked of how the community paid their respects on Friday. He acknowledged how difficult individuals have found it to stay away at this time.

Diarmuid described his father as “a sports fanatic”, he had a love for Leeds Utd but also a deep affection for the blue and white of St Senan’s Kilkee. He played alongside his father for the Saints when aged fifteen in what he called “an honour and a privilege”.

“We had a great childhood and never had a want for anything, we will be forever grateful,” Diarmuid said from the altar. “We love you and we will miss you so much, you will forever be in our lives”.

A spokesperson for St Senan’s Kilkee GAA Club highlighted that their club colours were flying at half mast following the loss of “one of our most notable club figures”. “They don’t come any more steeped in St Senan’s Kilkee tradition than Kieran, a man who has represented our club in almost every capacity imaginable”.

He lined out with the club at all grades, the highlights being his Clare SFC success. On top of this, Kieran also collected Minor A, U21A and Junior A titles along with Cusack Cup medals. Marrinan served as Chairman and Treasurer of the club, when winning his first Clare SFC medal in 1984 he was also Chairman and a selector with the U21 side.

Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) felt his passing was “such a huge loss to our small community here in Kilkee”.

Kieran is survived by his loving wife Nuala and family, son Diarmuid, daughters Sinead, Elaine and Karen, his adored grandchildren Grace and Adam, Brother Declan (Killimer), sisters Fionnuala (Kilkee) and Marian (Dublin), daughter-in-law Fiona, sons-in-law Damien, Paudie, and Eoin, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, cousins, relatives, many friends, work colleagues and customers.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

1 Comment

  1. Kieran Marrinan was so dear a man who for the last two decades, made myself and my husband Geoff feel not only a part of Kilkee but a special member of the Marrinan family. We are heartbroken at so sudden the loss of Kieran. Imagination fails us in how keen the loss is most surely felt by Nuala, Elaine, Sinead, Diarmuid, and Karen, as well as their respective partners and Kieran’s grandchildren, Grace and Adam. Kieran will remain forever in our hearts.
    With deepest sympathy and love,
    Patrice and Geoffrey Curtin

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