The death of renowned St. Brigid’s GAA Club official Michael Fayne of The Berries, Athlone, was the cause of widespread regret in recent days.
The late Mr. Fayne passed away on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010. A former ESB worker, the late Mr. Fayne was a bog oak sculptor and designed many specially commissioned awards for various groups.
He is mourned by his wife Annette, sons Brendan and Ciaran, daughter Joanne, further relatives and a wide circle of friends.
Roscommon Drama Festival this week extended deepest sympathy to the family of the late Mr. Fayne. A spokesperson for the Festival said, “Michael’s beautiful bog oak sculptures were specially commissioned and awarded to the winners of the Festival. We were very proud of our association with Michael and valued his exceptional talent and friendship. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”
The removal from his home to the Church of the Risen Christ, in Kiltoom took place on Friday, January 15th. Mass of the Resurrection at noon was followed by burial in Kiltoom Cemetery.
Frank Kenny, Honorary President, St. Brigid’s GAA Club, delivered a moving graveside oration, part of which we reproduce here.
“During his many, many years with St. Brigids, he was Chairman, he was Secretary, he was PRO, he was a County Board delegate and for the rest of his time with the club – even up to the very end – he was a member of our development Committee.
“He filled all of these positions with a commitment and dedication that was an inspiration to us all. He was always so reliable and dependable at all times. One of his great characteristics was to look ahead and plan for the future. While success at adult level did not come our way during his terms of office, he and other far-seeing members of the executive laid the foundation for great success with our adult teams in the years ahead by developing our underage structures.
“Visitors from near and far marvel at the facilities which the club now provides at Pairc Naomh Bride, Kiltoom and at our Handball Complex in Curraghboy. Much of these developments came under the guiding hand and foresight of Michael – it indeed was one of his great strengths. You cannon help but notice the array of photos of teams, officials and events lining the walls. Michael with loving care assembled all of these.
“Annette once asked where daddy was – and a then very young Brendan answered her with one of her own expressions: ‘He is down at that field again’. In more recent years Michael devoted his time in the club at overseeing the continued developments, which are on going in the club. He could afford to stand back and admire the fruition of his work and see St. Brigid’s develop into a great club with success at all levels in men’s football, ladies football and handball.
“During his illness, he learned with great joy and pride of our U-21 footballers winning a remarkable 8th title in a row. His pride in the local scene, be it in sports or in the wider community in general, always reminded me of Kickham’s great hero from Knockgow – Matt the Thrasher. When he was asked to compete in a sports Matt’s reply was ‘I will do it for the sake of the little village’ – it was so much like that with Michael.
“Michael, we in St. Brigid’s will miss you – we will miss you so much.
“In 1984 in conjunction with the Centenary of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Michael wrote the history of our of club and to conclude, I will now quote for you the very last sentence in that history – it is so appropriate today.
“I quote: ‘My closing wish is, that this all too short record of facts and events that I have succeeded in uncovering, will help our younger generations to take pride in the efforts of their predecessors, and so be motivated to keep Craobh Cumann Naomh Brid among the leading clubs of our county.’