Local GAA club honour much-loved member

by Rebecca Ryan

Naomh Olaf GAA Club in Sandyford have penned an appreciation of much-loved member of their management, Joe Fleming, who died last September.

Club Member, Brendan McGlynn told Dublin Gazette:

“The news of the death of Joe Fleming at St. Vincent’s Hospital Dublin, on the 17th September, 2018 was greeted with a great sense of loss and sadness by the many people who had the privilege of knowing him. 

Joe was born in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin in 1933.  He was one of three children born to Joe and Agnes Fleming and the family lived in Rathfarnham. 

In 1939 Joe commenced his formal education in the local primary school in Kilmashogue.  Two years later he moved to Rathfarnham B N S, Willbrooke Road. 

In 1946 he was awarded a secondary school scholarship from Dublin City Council and enrolled in Synge Street CBS.  While there he won a university scholarship and entered UCD to study for an Engineering Degree in 1951.

In 1954 Joe commenced work with CIE at the Inwards Parcels Office at Kingsbridge Station. He joined the CIE Computer Services Department in 1970.  Following a very successful career Joe retired from CIE in 1998.  

Joe Fleming and Maureen Keogh were married in the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Harold’s Cross in 1963.  They made their home in Meadowmount, Rathfarnham.  Their marriage was blessed with four children, Joe, Mick, Brian and Ann Marie.  Their extended family now includes nine grandchildren and one great grandchild all of whom he loved dearly.

Joe was a man of sound Christian values.  He possessed above average intelligence and had a sound education.  He was energetic and self-motivated.  He was an excellent provider for his wife and family and they together with his extended family were his first priority. 

His work was also very important to him.  He had a good work ethic which no doubt contributed to his very successful career.  He devoted much of his spare time and energy in promoting the sporting, social and cultural life of his community.    

The outstanding contribution Joe made to the G.A.A. between 1952 and 2003 might require a book to do it justice. 

Hurling was his first love and he played the game well for 33 years.  He played for Brothers Pearse, Croke’s Hurling Club and Dundrum/Churchtown, winning a Junior League in 1968 and a Miller Shield in 1969. 

He was a founder member of Brothers Pearse Athletic Club in 1955. He was also a founder member of Dundrum Adult hurling team in 1967. 

He was a very able club administrator and was always willing to serve. 

When he joined Naomh Olaf in 1999 his enthusiasm and energy were remarkable.  He managed a junior football team and served on the Communications Committee. 

He retired from team management in 2003 but was a member of Naomh Olaf club until the time of his death. In 2009 Coiste Na Seana Ghael, a sub-committee of the Dublin County Board of the G.A.A. honoured Joe by presenting him with a Testimonial in recognition of his dedicated contribution to the promotion of Gaelic Games.

Having retired from team management for Naomh Olaf in 2003 Joe joined Ballinteer Active Retirement Association where he served as Secretary 2008 to 2011, Chairman 2011 to 2014 and Registrar in 2014.

Joe was further honoured in 2017 when he received a Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Cathaoirleach’s Volunteer Recognition Award in recognition for selflessly volunteering his time to help the youth of his community.

Joe Fleming enjoyed good health all his life until about three years before his death when he was diagnosed with having a serious illness.  He fought his illness bravely, with positivity and courage. 

He was exceptionally well cared for in his home by his wife Maureen and family.  Joe died peacefully in St. Vincent’s Hospital on the 17thSeptember, 2018 surrounded by his wife and family. 

His remains reposed in Larry Massey’s Funeral Home, Grange Road, on the 19th September, 2018 and was removed to St. Attracta’s Oratory Meadowbrook on the 20th

Father Liam Belton celebrated the funeral Mass and spoke in glowing terms of Joe’s life.  It was with deep affection that Joe’s son Brian delivered a sincere and heartfelt eulogy. 

The large and representative attendance at the Mass reflected the esteem in which Joe was rightly held. 

Members of Naomh Olaf G.A.A. Club formed a Guard of Honour as his coffin entered and exited the Oratory.  His remains were interred in Mount Venus Cemetery.

Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”

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