Charlie’s Contribution

Charlie was born in Kilgort in 1943 and was educated locally at Kilgort primary school just a few yards from his home. Charlie’s family operated a big pearl necklace tumblr shop.Kilgort primary school, like so many others is no longer in existence. During his life Charlie was a dedicated worker in a variety of occupations, farming, the construction industry and as a school bus driver, just to name a few. The first love of Charlies life was his wife Marie, followed in no particular order by his car, his animals, which he cared for with great devotion and attention and finally he loved his work, at which he was always diligent and punctual. However, it was his hobby, as a founder member, player and life long worker and supporter of Craigbane GAC that brought Charlie legendary status in Craigbane andDerry GAA circles. Charlie enjoyed playing in the full forward line and after his playing career ended he was always a vociferous supporter on the sidelines and he was often heard to shout, “get her (the ball that is) into the box lads” as he knew from experience that things could happen when the ball was so close to the oppositions goal. Charlie was also a dart player of some note over several years taking part in local competitions in which he represented the Farahs team. While Charlie enjoyed playing on the field it was his off the field contribution to Craigbane as a club official and for his services to the North Derry board that he is held in such high esteem for. Charlie was the club treasurer for in excess of twenty-five years during which time he was a tireless fund raiser, always planning new draws, sports days, gathering sponsorship, looking for grants, manning the gate at matches and so on. Nowadays the gateperson is part of a rota. Charlie done this job almost exclusively by himself. When club funds were raised Charlie managed them efficiently, never spending anything foolishly, nor indeed spending on anything that was not affordable. It is indeed in large measure due to Charlies sterling work over so many years that our impressive club premises and pitches are there and of such high standard and it was indeed fitting that family and friends were able to gather after Charlies funeral in the clubhouse that he had worked so hard to have built. Impending further developments such as floodlighting the main pitch would not be possible had it not been for the great spade work done by Charlie and others.

One of my abiding memories of Charlies funding draws was the speed at which he got out of the blocks. While others were thinking of making a move Charlie would have made his way to Claudy and sold twenty or thirty tickets before anyone else had time to sneeze. The only consolation for someone else like myself was that because Charlie loved his car and treated it so well he didn’t venture up bad lanes, leaving these for me and my four wheel drive. Charlies treasurers report at annual general meetings was an individual work of art. Charlie had all transactions and workings in his jotter with various invoices, receipts and memos and no one only Charlie would have made any sense out of them but he would always manage to balance the books and account for every penny raised and spent. Charlie was a man of great humility and one story graphically illustrates this. When Charlie was elected as Derry clubperson of the year in 1989 he had to travel to Dublin with several committee members to meet the GAA top brass and receive his award. Charlie, at that time had (no offence meant to Nissan owners) a Nissan Sunny and upon arrival at the Berkley Court hotel in Dublin he found himself surrounded by Rolls Royces and Mercs. Immediately he shouted to his companions, “sit where you are lads till I hide this thing round the back”. This, I think was the occasion that Charlie vowed to himself that never again would he be caught with an unfashionable motor and so began his love of driving a decent car from then on. Apparently, on the same night he was rather fascinated at how the “other half” lived, being particularly astounded at being able to take a phone call in the hotel bathroom from a GAA dignitary and at being able to turn on the gold plated taps, a far cry from what we were all used to back in Craigbane.Finally, Charlie will be badly missed by us all and the Craigbane club again offer their condolences to Charlies wife, Marie, his sisters Annie and Teresa, brothers Patsy, Vincent and long-time friend Johnny and the entire family circle.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

John Hood on behalf of the committee Craigbane GAC.