Jack Lynch's Graveside Oration on 4th March 1979 at Cloyne, Co. Cork at the funeral of famous Cork hurler, Christy Ring of Glen Rovers and Cloyne Fame
Christy Ring (R.I.P.) 1920 - 1979
Before we leave this hallowed spot let us bide just a few moments longer and cast our thoughts back over the years through which so many of us had the honour to know, to play with or against Christy Ring. What more can be said of him, of his prowess, of his competitiveness that has not been said already?
But more and more will be said and written of him as long as young men will match their hurling skills against each other on Ireland's green fields, as long as young boys swing their camáns for the sheer thrill of the tingle in their fingers, of the impact of ash on leather, as long as hurling is played, the story of Christy Ring will be told and that will be for ever.
As long as the red jerseys of Cork , the blue of Munster and the green, black and gold of Glen Rovers, colours, that Christy wore with such distinction, as long as we see these colours in manly combat, the memories of Christy's genius and prowess will come tumbling back in profusion.
We will relish and savour them, for we will hardly see their likes again. And men who are fathers and grandfathers now, will tell their children and grandchildren with pride, that they saw Christy Ring play. The story will pass from generation to generation and so it will live. Even before half of his playing days were over, his feats and his skills were legendary.
If these skills were inherent, as they were, they were enhanced by his sheer dedication to the game of hurling that he loved and by his constant aspiring to improve his playing of it - if indeed that were possible.
In the course of a match or a season, we thought we had seen the ultimate in what constituted the complete hurler. Christy was always able to produce or perform an even greater gaisce - a new feat of hurling magic, of which, only he was capable.
He had consummate belief in his ability and that ability was consummate. Had Christy applied his talents to another code, to another sport, that had international participation, I believe he would have achieved the same degree of perfection as he did in hurling and he would have had world renown.
As a mentor, a selector, a coach, his ability was no less. He has inspired literally two generations of hurlers, those of us who had the privilege of being his contemporaries on the field, and the thousands of aspiring young hurlers who held him in awe, and so many of them, whom he coached and trained.
As a hurler he had no peer. As a friend he was intensely loyal.
As a man he was vibrant, intelligent and purposeful.
As a husband and a father he was loving, concerned and tender.
This I know.
All of you who have come with him on this last journey, as he reaches his final goal, his friends, his admirers, old hurlers who played with and against him, on behalf of Glen Rovers and St. Nicholas clubs and, may I presume, on behalf of the Cork County Board, on behalf of Rita, young Christy and Mary, may I offer thanks and appreciation.