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Johnny Casey - An Appreciation

posted 12 Nov 2015, 11:49 by rúnaí Cill Daingin
Johnny Casey - An Appreciation

On Sunday November 1st it was with great shock and sadness the people of Kildangan awoke to the news of the sudden passing of Johnny Casey of Riverstown. The reaction of many was disbelief as few could remember a time when Johnny was not at the centre of the community in Kildangan.

Johnny was a larger than life character, known far and wide and was a pillar of the community of Kildangan for many years. He was the “go-to” man if a fund raising event was to be held. You were guaranteed a successful outcome if Johnny was involved as he had a fantastic ability to gather a crowd whether it be to organise an event or to support it. A talented public speaker, Johnny was well known for taking up the mic at anything from a retirement party to a charity auction.

Johnny was a people person, at ease with the people of the village, a key player in many local projects and activities. There are far too many to mention here but the extension of Ballybracken Cemetery in 2014 and the reformation of Kildangan GAA club in 2001 are achievements Johnny played a key role in and will always be remembered for. 

Indeed it was at Johnny’s prompting in 2001 that the seeds were sown for the GAA club to reform and it was Johnny himself who chaired the initial development meetings until a committee could be formed. For his commitment Johnny was honoured as a Life President of the club and it was fitting just a few short weeks ago his son Padraig captained the Kildangan team to the Junior “B” title in St Conleths Park.

Johnny spent his working life as a lorry driver in Bord na Mona (where he was also a shop steward) and was known in every corner of Bord na Mona, in the midlands and further afield from his travels hauling peat to individual Works and Dublin Port. He never lost his affection for Bord na Mona and after his retirement he would often be heard to enquire as to how things were going in “the Bord”?

Johnny loved the simple things in life, whether it be spending time with his grand-children, singing a song, tending his garden and ponies or imparting local history. The trips to the bog with his family to save the turf were something Johnny loved and were often rounded off with a pint in the Cross Keys or the Cush Inn on the way home.

Johnny is survived by his wife Sheila, sons John, Stephen and Padraig, daughters Eileen, Patricia and Catriona, son’s in-law, daughter’s in-law, grandchildren and many friends.

Following one of the largest funerals seen in Kildangan in many years, it was fitting that Johnny’s family and friends retired to the Cross Keys to share stories and songs. It’s how Johnny would have wanted it.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
John Miller
Kildangan GAA