A Giant Has Left Us.
The news of the death of Tom Fitzpatrick has caused widespread sadness in the GAA world.
The Cumann na mBunscol, Dublin GAA and national figure was deeply respected and admired and he has left an enormous legacy.
Tom taught in St. Joseph’s NS in Terenure and finished up as Games’ Promotion Officer in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, before retiring to a life of farming in his beloved home in Gleninagh, The Burren, Co. Clare.
He had a great interest in refereeing. He refereed in Dublin, was involved in referee committees and served nationally on Coiste Náisiúnta na Réiteoirí, where he contributed to significant initiatives that changed the face of refereeing.
Tom was a driving force behind Cumann na mBunscol, Áth Cliath for over 50 years when the organisation grew from 50 schools to over 300.
He was Secretary from 1988 to 2016. His phenomenal work in St. Patrick’s College represents an immeasurable contribution to education and the orientation of hundreds of young teachers towards the promotion and development of Gaelic games in schools throughout the entire country.
His great enthusiasm, energy and passion were further fuelled when he became a tutor to teaching students when on their school placements throughout the country. He was greatly loved for his gentle and encouraging approach and he also has influenced an entire generation of teachers.
Tom had a particular passion for hurling. He promoted it passionately in school and club and, along with Cumann na mBunscol colleagues Jimmy O’Dwyer, John Dermody and Willie Coogan, he led Dublin minors to a first Leinster hurling championship win in 2005- a first for 22 years.
The ‘fathach’ from The Burren is being sadly mourned at present throughout the country and, in particular, by his colleagues in Cumann na mBunscol, Áth Cliath, with whom he worked and laughed for half a century. He’s an irreplaceable colleague and friend.
Cumann na mBunscol sends deepest condolences to his family in Co. Clare. The oft-used phrase was never more apt - ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann.