Danny Mooney RIP

By John ‘Curly’ McIlwaine

A large crowd of family and friends gathered at McQuillan’s GAC Ballycastle on Tuesday to play their last farewells to former hurler Danny ‘Monkey’ Mooney who passed away when walking on Rathlin Island just over a week ago. In a ceremony conducted by Danny’s friend John Foley, a Humanist Celebrant, some of Danny’s colleagues spoke fondly about their former friends.

Paul ‘Fitzy’ Fitzpatrick who was a member of Ballycastle Ramblers, and small exclusive group of friends, which included Colum ‘Towser’ Davidson, Joe Donnelly, Benny Elliott, Eddie McHenry and John Moore  spoke of his 30 year friendship with Danny and their shared love of GAA, Celtic, Barnsley (yes Barnsley), pints , quizzes, walking, which always ended in the Boyd Arms.

Boyd Arms proprietor Paul McAuley fought back the tears as he spoke about how Danny and him had been friends since the day they started primary school together and how it had remained strong throughout their lifetime.

John Foley read some lines written by Joe Donnelly of how his father told him of Danny’s exploits for the Town, when he was man of the match in the 1978 Ulster final win over Portaferry and how he ended up playing with Joe on the Reserve team in later years.  

Danny’s widow Anne fittingly wrapped it all up when she told of her love for a man who had been kind and generous, a great father, stepfather and grandfather during their seventeen years together.

After the service everyone was invited into the McQuillan’s clubrooms for food and refreshments before Danny’s remains were taken to Roselawn Crematorium.

Danny Mooney was one of life’s real characters who will be sadly missed by those who knew him. Paul Fitzpatrick summed it up well when he quoted from Abraham Lincoln “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years” And later when appropriately  used a line quoted at the funeral of Celtic goalkeeper John Thompson “They never die who live in the hearts they leave behind”

To Anne and the family we offer our sincere condolences.   

Danny (left) with some members of the Ballycastle Ramblers

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