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Tadhg Meehan: a ‘gentleman’ and a ‘true Gael’

6 February 2015; Tadhg Meehan, ex Provincial Secretary of Britain, is presented with the Lifetime Recognition award by Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill, left, and Denis O’ Callaghan, Head of AIB Branch Banking. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

++FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS LATEST++

Reposing at his home on Sunday and Monday 23-24 February between 5.00 pm and 8.00 pm – 62 Corsock Drive, Whelley, Wigan, WN1 3YY.

Funeral Mass Tuesday 25 February 1.30 pm St Patrick’s RC Church, Hardybutts, Wigan WN1 3RZ.

House private on Tuesday morning.

Family flowers only, donations to MacMillan Cancer Support.

By Damian Dolan

Tributes have been paid to former Provincial Council of Britain secretary Tadhg Meehan, whose death was announced on Friday (14 February).

Tadhg served as treasurer of Provincial Council from 1984 to 1999, when he took over as secretary, a position he retained until 2012.

He also held the role of Central Council delegate for four years.

Tadhg served the Lancashire County with distinction for many years. He was president for six years (1984-87), chairperson for six years (1977-82) and treasurer for 13 (1989-01).

He also held the position of Register/PRO for two years (1974-75).

Tributes paid to Tadhg Meehan a gentleman and true Gael

A “gentleman” and a “true Gael” is how many described Tadhg, as tributes poured in following news of his passing.

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One described him as the “quintessential Gael” and a “GAA man to the core”.

Announcing Tadhg’s passing, the Provincial Council of Britain said: “Our Patron and true Gael has passed today after a short illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tadhg Meehan’s family at this time.”

Chairperson of the GAA in Britain, Paul Foley called Tadhg “a proper gentleman and true Gael”.

Lancashire GAA said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. A true GAA volunteer who will be sorely missed.”

An Irish World Award winner in 2007 for his services to the GAA in Britain, Tadhg’s commitment was also recognised at the 2015 GAA President’s Awards at Croke Park, where he was the recipient of the Lifetime Recognition award.

Tadhg swopped Tycooley in Co Galway, where he later recalled the “only recreation was playing football and hurling” for the bright lights of London in September 1961.

After a short return to native shores, he went back to London in June 1963, and began his long association with J. Murphy & Sons Ltd.

Tributes paid to Tadhg Meehan a gentleman and true Gael

After playing for some years with Geraldines Club in London – his brother Seamus also played for the club and served as an officer – he eventually settled in North West of Britain and soon became involved with the Lancashire County Board.

Paying tribute, his club in Manchester, St Brendan’s, said it was “deeply saddened’ to learn of his passing and described him as “one of the most influential Gaels in Lancashire and Britain over the last 50 years”.

In 2009, when St Brendan’s celebrated its 50th Anniversary, Tadhg recalled how he attended his first club meeting in January 1970, and “finished up being elected chairman”.

“I am sure that period in my life sowed the seed for every position I have held ever since be it County, Provincial or National level,” said Tadhg, who often helped out in various capacities “sometimes with no recognised position”.

He later served the club as its president.

A dedicated club man, he would pick players up in various places all over the North West of England.

When St Brendan’s reached the provincial final in 1979, only to lose out to London’s The Kingdom at New Eltham, he collected players from Preston and Lancaster University and drove them to south London, and back again afterwards.

Tributes paid to Tadhg Meehan a gentleman and true Gael

“I never thought of the distance, but it was a long road home after losing,” he recalled later.

Tadhg enjoyed many special days through his involvement with the GAA none more so than on 17 March 2004 when his beloved home club Caltra – including six of his nephews – claimed all All-Ireland SFC club honours.

Two of his nephews, Declan and Tomás, won All Irelands with Galway in 1998 and 2001. Michael also played with Galway.

Writing about his involved with the GAA in St Brendan’s 50th Anniversary book in 2009, Tadhg said: “People often say to me how or why are you involved with the GAA. They must owe you a fortune and my reply is the GAA owe me nothing.

“I am proud it’s an amateur voluntary organisation. The only ones we owe anything to is its founder members and the many people who have kept it going over the past 125 years.

“Again, a big thank you and gratitude for the amount of pleasure I have enjoyed over my lifetime. I only wish it could start again and I would do the same, but hopefully better.”

Tadhg is survived by his wife Eileen, whom he met at the Carousel Dance Hall, Manchester, and married on St. Patrick’s Day in 1973 at St. Patrick’s Church in Wigan, his children Dominic and Kieran, and grandchildren.

He paid tribute to Eileen in 2009 saying that “without her understanding and support, I couldn’t have given so much of my spare time to the Association.

“Needless to say she fed many a hungry player and washed many of the dirty kits, like many of the fellow Club members spouses have done over the years.”

Gloucestershire GAA said the county’s Gaels “shall miss him”. They added: “Tadhg was always happy to welcome newcomers to @BPCGAA to guide and advise over the last few years”.

British University GAA called him “a true Gael and one of the hardest working volunteers in
@BPCGAA”

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