Parnells GAA club has paid tribute to its former chairman Brendan Lynch following his sudden death last Sunday at the age of 62.
Originally from Trim, Co Meath, and living in Hatch End, London, Brendan was a past chairman of both the ladies and men’s sections of the club.
He was also a former president of the ladies provincial council of Britain and a long-time supporter of the London ladies football team.
A member of the ladies club since the early 1990s, he held numerous positions and was currently vice chairman. He was also secretary and registrar of the men’s club.
Tommie Donohue, who knew Brendan since he became involved with Parnell’s, described him as a “big hearted” man and a “real character”.
Donohue said: “Once Brendan got involved with Parnells he fell in love with the club.
“He was an incredibly decent man. I know for a fact that he helped girls with mortgages and school fees. If you were Parnells, you were never in trouble when Brendan was around.
“He was also a great man for the youth and was always working away in the back ground helping players who’d come over.
“He’d want to know if everything was going well for them at work or whether they had any issues. He was brilliant like that. He was just an incredible club man.”
Brendan was also the man originally behind the London GAA website and setting it up.
Jackie McCowen, a member of Parnells ladies since 1990, echoed Tommie’s comments. She said: “He was a go-to person for everyone – he helped out a lot of people both financially and emotionally. He’d give you the clothes off his back.
“He did so much behind the scenes. He’d go out of his way to pick up people for training and make sure they got home.
“He travelled all over Ireland and the country supporting Parnell’s. He was always there come rain or snow.”
Brendan and his wife, Josephine, had planned to move back to Ireland and had bought a house on the banks of the River Boyne in Meath.
A statement on behalf of Parnell’s said the club was “shocked and deeply saddened” to learn of Brendan’s death, particularly coming just a few months after the passing of another of the club’s great stalwarts, Tom Farrell.
The statement said: “When a club suffers the major loss of such a great clubman it is a traumatic blow, but more than that it is his wife Josephine and his family who are in our thoughts.
“Brendan always had time to speak with everyone across all sections of the club. Originally involved with the men’s board and then subsequently the Ladies.
“He was also a great advocate and supporter of the Youth Development in the club and attended all events where possible.”
Joe Regan, a member of Parnells since 1980, recalls being introduced to Brendan by the club’s former chairman Martin Diggins.
“He used to come in for a drink every evening when the Parnells club opened up (the club’s original Kingsbury base). He was a great supporter after that. He will be irreplaceable and leave a big void across the club.”
London Ladies chair Lucia Butler, said: “Brendan did a huge amount for ladies GAA in Britain and news of his passing is passing is shocking and devastating.
“London Ladies would like to offer its sincere condolences to Brendan’s wife Josephine, and our hearts go out to everyone at Parnells.”