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A Tribute to Sheila Spillane

posted 28 Feb 2012, 15:20 by Gabi Benaim   [ updated 28 Feb 2012, 15:21 ]

                                     A Tribute to Sheila Spillane                                                                                          


Sheila  Spillane; a lifetime commitment to the promotion and development of Camogie in the Parish of Killeagh and County of Cork.


Sheila has given a lifetime of service to the Killeagh club and the now famed Burgess playing pitch was kindly given to the club by John and Sheila Spillane. From the very beginning Sheila’s generosity was there for all to see. Killeagh were ahead of their time as a Camogie Club by having a pitch for Camogie alone in 1973.


The Club estimates that since 1973 approx 1,000 girls from the parish and surrounding areas were given the opportunity to play the game. She provided a venue and an environment where many lifelong friendships were made and fun was had.  Many an All Ireland medal winner was trained by Sheila over the years, and all past players look back fondly on those brilliant days when Camogie was a way of Life 


To sum up, Killeagh have five senior County Championships, one Club All Ireland and five Munster Club Championships along with numerous underage County titles with Sheila involved in all these teams,


The Club proudly claims All Ireland winning Captains in Cathy Landers and Pat Moloney. Betty Joyce captained Cork to a Junior All Ireland Title; Betty also in 1986 had the honour of refereeing an All Ireland Camogie Final in Croke Park with Sheila again showing her array of skills by being an umpire on the day.


She has held every officership in the Club as well as some at County Board level and is now our president. At eighty two years of age no job or role is too big for her.  From making the hot whiskeys all day long at our annual Point -to -Point races fundraiser in January, to making sure we have spare jerseys and towels to dry the hurleys at games on wet days in Oct/Nov. If membership needs to be collected or the infamous sliotars need to be bought and taken care of, the bag packing or church gate collection organized;  money needed  to be counted or lodged, Shelia is available.


In between these jobs there are very few games she will not attend except for the week in June when she is volunteering in Lourdes. In fact she has volunteered (and fundraised before hand) in Lourdes every year for the last thirty nine years and is already signed up to help for 2012


In 2004 Sheila won the local GAA Club Lotto and what did she do with her winnings? She bought the Club a defibulator!


Having had cancer surgery in 2010 and burying her second daughter in 2011, Shelia still carries on and is eagerly looking forward to casting a caring eye over all proceedings for the 2012 season. The prospect of a new generation of girls taking up our sport and beginning the cycle of learning the game, having fun and making friends,  would not  be possible if  Sheila had not helped begin it all in 1973


At eighty two years of age Sheila is the face of the Club throughout the County and further afield, at Club level she is known by all members, both past and present, and she has sustained the Club through its leaner years.


Killeagh may not always be the winning club on the field of play but Shelia has ensured through her passion, enthusiasm, limitless energy and boundless love for Camogie that the Club always does its best.


Shelia is an example to all of us.  She has given a lifetime of service to Camogie; for us she is THE ULTIMATE VOLUNTEER!


February 19th 2012                                                                                                             Killeagh Camogie Club