McCarthy, Joe

Kingscourt was plunged into a state of deep sadness on Saturday, November 12th, 2016 as word began to circulate about the passing of local man Joseph 'Joe' McCarthy from Kells Road, who was a leading light in GAA circles at both club and county level. Joe, who was taken away from us at the age of 43, represented Kingscourt Stars with distinction on the field of play at all levels and was also a formidable footballer in the colours of Cavan. He went on to serve as a county senior and U21 selector under Terry Hyland and Peter Reilly respectively.

In paying tribute to him, Cavan GAA said: "Joe was an outstanding player, playing for club and county, and was a prominent member of the successful Kingscourt Stars team during the '90s. He was a member of the successful Cavan U21 and senior team managements with Terry Hyland and then Peter Reilly. Joe had a superb knowledge of the game and was meticulous in match preparation. He took a genuine interest in all players both on and off the field and was an inspiration to and revered by all who had the pleasure of working with him. A true gentleman taken too soon and will be truly missed."

Kingscourt Stars posted the following tribute to their legendary club stalwart, who is greatly missed and will never be forgotten in the town he represented and promoted with tremendous energy and enthusiasm: "A cloud hangs over O'Raghallaigh Park at the moment, following the passing of Joe McCarthy over the weekend. While we, as a club, have unfortunately being preparing ourselves for this moment, it makes it no easier to accept, that an absolute club (and county) icon, has passed on. While only 43, Joe Mac fitted so much into his life both professionally and personally. From winning Man of The Match as a Minor in the 1991 Senior Final as part of the great "3 in a Row" team to dedicating his life in the past decade to the resurrection of both club and county teams. While most people now associate Joe as a sideline selector, those who were lucky enough to watch him play, realise he was as gifted a player as you could wish to see, from the 1985 U-12 Championship victory (which we are lucky enough to still have YouTube footage), to the aforementioned 1991 final, on to Joe being part of Martin McHugh's 1995 Cavan squad. It was only his even more impressive professional career that restricted his county progression. However, Joe absolutely came into his element when he hung up his boots, and the recent renaissance in Cavan football, would simply not have progressed to the level it did, without the outrageous dedication that Joe Mac brought to it. He had a rare ability to bring out the best of people, as well as having a football brain that was the match of anyone in the country. On top of all that, Joe was always the first man to volunteer with any behind the scenes work that is needed to keep a club running. While Joe was well able to own the centre stage, he was much more willing to take a back seat and allow others take credit.

The Club has been inundated with messages of goodwill and we take this opportunity to thank everyone for taking their time to pass them on. We know that everyone will have their own Joe Mac stories, however if we put them all together, they still would not be able to total the amount of stories he had himself, and definitely none of us, would be able to tell them as good as Joe could…. We pass on our condolences to his extended family and hope that the difficult times they are going through, are somewhat eased, by knowing the extent to which Joe was held by the greater GAA family. We know there is a brighter Star shining in the sky tonight, as he looks down on us all, probably saying that if he'd been playing with the Cavan Masters this weekend, they'd have won that All-Ireland. Joe, it was an honour to have known you……."

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