Champion Sports Volunteer: Gaelic Games Category:
Loyal Clubman For Over 50 Years
Every sports club and voluntary association in the country can proudly claim their own Champion Volunteers who devote so much of their free time week after week, and often year after year in providing so many services on a voluntary basis. One such man is Ned Harrington of Passage Hurling & Football Club, Co. Cork, who in 2010 has completed 48 years service with his adopted club.
Ned’s roots are in Ballinascarthy, in the barony of West Cork which is also the ancestral home of car pioneer, Henry Ford.
In 1960 Ned took up employment at Verolme Cork Dockyard at Rushbrooke, Cobh, which is just across the river Lee from Passage. And in 1962 Ned and his wife, May, took up residence in Passage West and the local club were fortunate that such a committed G.A.A. man had come into their midst.
Growing up in Ballinascarthy, Ned followed a G.A.A. sporting heritage that is renowned in Cork for its rich football tradition. On arrival in Passage he did not waste any time in making his mark with the harbour side club. He has been involved in every facet of the club but his greatest legacy will probably be his association with the under - age section where he acted as board delegate to Bórd Na-N-óg for many years. The local parish leagues were another aspect of the club which benefited greatly from Ned’s contributions. It was not surprising that his five sons Gerard, Kieran, Edmund, Michael and Niall, started off playing in these internal leagues and all went on to play with distinction on Passage hurling and football teams.
When Ned retired from full time employment he did not settle for the armchair and took on the mantle of club groundsman at Manning Park, the home of Passage club. His total dedication and commitment to this major task has been remarkable by any standards. Anyone visiting the Manning Park complex on any day of the week, will inevitably discover Ned cutting the grass or carrying out some other essential maintenance work.
With three playing pitches, a clubhouse and dressing rooms under his daily care, Ned also finds time for attending club matches and many other club matters. For nearly half a century Ned Harrington has built a reputation as one of the clubs longest serving all time unparalleled officers. A man of quiet disposition, he radiates great harmony amongst his fellow club officers and is a highly regarded person in the community of Passage West and in the greater G.A.A. family of Cork.
If you need something to be done urgently, make sure you delegate to a busy person such as Ned, and that is always a good motto. Passage club have produced many notable Cork hurlers, such as Bernie Meade, Timothy O’Shea, Eddie O’Brien and Justin McCarthy. All these players came through in Ned’s time as an inspiring club officer. All past and present players of Passage, hold Ned in very high esteem and the young camogie and ladies footballers, also come under his command when arranging use of the club grounds.
It is also worth stating that followers of various Cork teams on big match days will spare a reflection for club men such as Ned Harrington of the Passage West club. Without these dedicated Champion Volunteers there would not be any inter - county stars to showpiece the great games of hurling and football.
Ned Harrington is amongst thousands of Champion Volunteers all over Ireland who deserve great recognition for their contributions to the better welfare of Ireland’s youth.