Oliver Brennan: A Tribute – Glanmire Football Club
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Oliver Brennan: A Tribute

On Saturday, 28th April 2018, Glanmire Football club lost one of its most diligent and dedicated Stalwarts, as our club President, Oliver Brennan, passed onto his eternal reward.

Son of the legendary Cork Hurler “Micka” Brennan, it was inevitable that Oliver would grow up with a fondness of our Gaelic Games, and from a young age he represented his parish Clubs, Glanmire and Sarsfields. And while Oliver had a passion for both codes, it was Football that would become his preference, and so a relationship with Glanmire Football Club would blossom and form a legacy that would span many decades.

Oliver, or Ollie, as his friends knew him, represented Glanmire in multiple roles during his time with the club. He served as a selector with many teams in the club, winning various honours with teams from juvenile level all the way to adult level. He was a selector with the under 14 team which won the County championship in 1968, and Glanmire, Captained by John Egan, were victorious over Beara. From that day onwards, Oliver and John would go to share a strong friendship to this day, and even became selectors together, and were part of the management team who won the Junior East Cork League in 2007. Pictured below is Ollie and Johnny at one of many greyhound meetings which they frequented together on a regular basis

Not only did he dedicate time on the pitch, Ollie also gave immense commitment to the club at administrative level as well. Oliver was a member of the Glanmire executive committee for countless years, and held a number of officerships during his time on the committee. he holds the distinction of being the first ever Secretary of Glanmire and Sars Juvenile clubs. He also spent many years as the Glanmire delegate for the East Cork Board, travelling all around East Cork to arrange fixtures and represent the club in all discussions, and was widely respected and highly regarded amongst fellow delegates and officers within the division. Oliver always strongly and passionately stood up for his beliefs on how the game should be played and administered, and never left a meeting without his two cents being offered. His greatest accolade at Administrative level was in November 2015, when so many years of service and hard work were officially recognised as he was elected as president of Glanmire GAA. An honour and position he was so proud to receive with the utmost humility.

Perhaps though, the defining part of Olivers legacy will be his passion and graft for the grounds of Glanmire GAA that he treated so preciously as his second home. Oliver, as well as predeceased club stalwarts and close friends Mick Barry and Mick O’Leary, was part of a committee which secured the club grounds at “the Pike” which would go on to become the home of Glanmire GAA. As long as he was able to, Ollie would more than likely be found casting an eye over the club grounds at Sallybrook, ensuring that the pitch was in pristine condition for any matches or trainings that were due to take place. No job was too big or small, whether the pitch was to be lined, or a patch of sod was to be filled, Oliver would take responsibility to ensure each task was completed. It must not have been easy for Ol to see the damage and destruction caused to the premises by the storms and floods in 2012, but he worked tirelessly alongside the committee to ensure that the pitches were restored to their previous state, and also helped to see that the grounds would prosper to further potential. The grounds of Sallybrook, which today cater for so many of our Parishes children and so many teams, are a testament to the hard work and perseverance which Oliver dedicated much of his life to.

In fact, its was his love of the Club which so strongly was reflected in his personality. One could be forgiven that Oliver may seem sometimes abrupt in his approach regarding football matters, but it was only us that knew him so well that knew this was merely Oliver protectively speaking about the Club and Grounds he was so proud to represent. A funny anecdote sums up Oliver’s protective love of Glanmire; in late 2015, Oliver was doing some work at the club pavilion in Sallybrook, and noticed a lady taking photos of the grounds from a distance. Fearing that there may be some sinister motives for these photos to be taken, Oliver questioned the lady was to why she was taking photos of the pitch. She merely replied saying that she was planning on painting a picture of the club at another club officials request. Little did Oliver know at the time, that the lady in question was local Artist Carol Breen, and she was in fact painting a picture of the club that would be presented to Ollie himself to commemorate his election as Club President at the upcoming AGM! Oliver was moved to tears by the gesture, and the picture now hangs proudly in his front hall at his home.

While Glanmire may have been a huge part of his life, it would be very wrong to say that the club was his priority. Olivers first love was always his family. He was a loving husband to his wife Aileen and beloved son Michael, and worked diligently for many years in Beamish and Crawford to ensure that Aileen and Michael never wanted for anything. A family man of the highest order, Oliver gave his all to ensure that his family were looked after, and his pride and care for them never ceased.

With that said, while Aileen and Mick were always his primary concern, you could not help but feel as if Oliver regarded you as family if you were one of the truly lucky ones who worked at his side for the cause of Glanmire GAA. Ollie would always welcome you into his home warmly and generously and would always be willing to offer his friendship to you for hours on end. If there were ever any worries that would weigh one down, Oliver would always go out of his way and be willing to help as much as he could. In our last conversations with Oliver before his passing, his only concerns were the aspects of our lives, and never did he yearn for sympathy and dwell on the cards he was dealt, such was the selfless nature that Oliver always preserved.

We here at Glanmire GAA, much like Aileen and Mick at this time, are at a tremendous loss with Olivers passing. But at the same time, we feel so lucky for having the pleasure and honour of sharing a part of Olivers life, and knowing and caring for such an honourable gentleman.

Ar Deis de go raibh a adam dilis.

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