Frank O’Neill R.I.P.

The death occurred last week of Frank O’Neill in London and formally of Garafine, Ballymacward. Frank (82) was throughout his life a fanatical GAA follower and since 1951 he had attended every All-Ireland in hurling and Football, including the replays until 2012 and attended 128 finals in that time. Even a move to London in 1954 didn’t stop him from travelling home twice a year for those clashes.
Last years football final was extra special for Frank as he had attended his first football All-Ireland in 1951 the last time Mayo lifted the Sam. Indeed tickets were so hard to come by last year Franks record was nearly broken.
In an article in the Irish Independent last year he recalled andquot;I remember the match well. Back then you didn’t need a ticket, you just paid your two shillings at the turnstile. There was no trouble getting into Croke Park,andquot; he recalled. Frank revealed this was the first year in 61 that he had struggled to get a ticket. However at the last moment with the help of a local GAA man and a Croke Park steward Frank gained entry but history did not repeat itself as Mayo did not pick up Sam.
Frank was a Sunday regular at GAA games in Ruislip, London. His love of the hurling and football stemmed from his Garafine childhood, when the games were discussed with passion each Sunday.
Frank reposes at Franciscan College Oratory, Mountbellew today, Thursday 13th March, from 5pm with Removal at 7pm to St. Peter and Paulandamp;rsquo;s Church, Ballymacward. Funeral Mass on Friday at 12 noon with burial afterwards in Killaghaun Cemetery.