By Martin Kearney-Casement’s Secretary
There is great sadness around Portglenone and along the River Bann on hearing of the death of the popular young man Paul McKeever of the Largy. A family man, Paul was a very successful business man in the family firm of Sean McKeever Cars.
He was a passionate GAA man. He served as player, coach, mentor, committee member and referee for his beloved Roger Casements. He was a member of the historic Sean Stinson’s ‘Four-in-a-Row’ Antrim Minor Football Champions from 1995-1998, as well as representing Antrim at Minor and U21 Level.
His playing career was cut short by injury but he channelled his efforts into refereeing, soon rising to become one of the best in Antrim and Ulster, representing Casements with great distinction at National level.
He was heavily involved in coaching at juvenile and underage level, most notably his U8 team who remain unbeaten, winning numerous tournaments throughout Ulster.
Paul’s energy and enthusiasm was further displayed ‘off the field’ as a driving force at Committee level especially in the provision of the magnificent new playing facilities opened this year at Páirc Ó Ceallaigh. He will be long remembered at Committee level for his straight-talking, no-nonsense honest approach at Committee meetings.
As a Club we owe so much to Paul’s generation for their drive, enthusiasm and leadership qualities. Paul was a born leader, an exemplary role-model who was generous with his time and spirit.
There was no prouder man last May at the Opening of our Second Pitch than Paul, and that is the way we will all remember him.
He is a massive loss to us all but most importantly to his family. To Nicola, sons Ryan and Conor, daughter Erin, and the entire McKeever family we extend our deepest sympathies.
A Thiarna, deán trócaire air.
Our featured photograph shows Paul McKeever, who was linesman at the 2016 SFC final between Cargin and St. Gall’s shaking hands with Cargin’s Tony Scullion after the game.