Tribute to GAA stalwart Sylvie Donoghue

Source: The Connacht Tribune
Source: The Connacht Tribune

The Irish World and its managing director Paddy Cowan would like to express their greatest sympathies to the family of Sylvie Donoghue, who was tragically killed this morning.

The 72-year-old moved from Portumna, Co. Galway, to Gloucestershire when he was young as he had family connections there and carried over his GAA expertise in becoming chairman of the Gloucestershire county board.

He spent many years running the Royal Oak public house in Cheltenham, which became a focal meeting point for the Irish travelling to the race meeting in March throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

The Central Council Representative was struck by a car at 9.30am on the main Borrisokane to Portumna Rd at Lahinch, Co. Tipperary. He was pronounced dead at the scene and a 51-year-old female driver was uninjured.

Close friend Ambrose Gordon, publican of the Man of Aran in Rayners Lane, spoke of the huge loss Donoghue will be to both the community here and in Galway.

The lifelong GAA supporter said: “Sylvie was Portumna. He was an absolute gentleman and the first man that I’d meet every time I went home. He was a character; a great, great person.

“We went to school together in Rotunda at the Tech, and he was just a wonderful lad. He was so involved with GAA in Gloucestershire and when he went back he did so much for underage hurling and so much for charities, he was involved in everything.

“He was involved heavily with the Galway county board. Every hurling person in the county knew Sylvie. Every match you’d be at he’d either be on the gate, or an umpire or linesman, or reffing minor matches. He was an absolutely brilliant guy. Portumna will not be the same without Sylvie Donoghue. It’s a huge loss for the town and for his family.

“It was just a massive shock to hear – I couldn’t talk for five minutes afterwards, he was one of these guys.  It’s a tragedy as well for the family of the girl so close to Christmas, who just had an accident on the way to work.

“We have great stories of our time with him in the Royal Oak in Cheltenham, and he took all that back with him. He was just a great lad.”


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  1. Sylvie was a true gent here in Cheltenham he was well respected in all walks of life, and was a fantastic landlord and friend.thoughts go out to all his family on this tragic loss

  2. An absolute legend to all the lrish in Cheltenham and a true family friend. My prayers are offered for his family. God bless Sylvie

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