Pat O’Rourke R.I.P.
With deep regret, on the 1st May 2014, we heard the sad news that our great friend Pat O’Rourke (formerly of Millmount) had passed away. Pat died in Birmingham, England where he had lived for almost fifty years.
Pat was a dedicated supporter of Kilmallock and Limerick hurling. Pat was on the Kilmallock Minor Hurling team that won the club’s first Minor title in 1955. He played at right-corner forward and scored 5 goals and 3 points from play – a remarkable achievement as he was still a Minor in 1956. He scored coming in from the right and he scored coming in from the left – he was before his time as he switched from one corner to the other in search of goals.
In 1956 Pat, like so many others, immigrated to London in search of work. He continued to play hurling in London with the Brother Pearse’s club. He returned home in 1958 and played in the ’58 and ’59 Championship with Kilmallock alongside his brother Mick. During ’58 and ’59 Pat lined out at midfield with Limerick in the National Hurling League. He was a top class hurler and a match for the best of them. At this time he worked for CIE at Knocklong Railway Station. Sadly for us, and for Kilmallock hurling, Pat left for England again in late 1959 and this time he headed for Birmingham. Here he met up with his great friends Mick Galvin, Paddy Quilty and Jimmy Foley. Pat lined out with the Crokes club and played inter-county with Warwickshire. Birmingham’s gain was Kilmallock’s loss because Pat O’Rourke was a very special player.
Pat never forgot his native parish and he returned home for several county finals. His last visit home was for the County Final win in 2012. He was a generous sponsor of the club down through the years and also helped Bord na nOg with funds. An extremely decent person.
Pat was a larger than life character who loved to talk about Kilmallock and Limerick hurling. He enjoyed a few pints and a sing-song and he was a great story-teller. He had a wonderful sense of humour. Pat and Jimmy Millea had a special friendship and they talked every week on the telephone, reminiscing on days gone-by and matches played.
To Pat’s son Richard and his daughter Annette, his daughter-in-law Jacqui and his son-in-law William; to his four grandchildren; to his brother Richard, his sisters Bridie, Mary and Margaret; to all his nieces and nephews and to all his relations and to Pat’s many, many friends -Kilmallock GAA Club would like to offer our deepest condolences at this time.
Pat, your old friends in Kilmallock will never forget you. You were a special friend to us. People like you only come around once. Remember the night of the 1955 Minor Team Reunion? That was a special night. You were a star that night – as you were a star on the field in 1955. May your gentle soul rest lightly in your place of rest. Good Luck old comrade and Friend.
Pat O’Rourke – you were special.
Signed: Old Friends