• Feb 20,2024

Fermoy GAA was left devastated by the passing of our former Chairperson and leader Brendan Keane in the early hours of Wednesday 14th February.  

Brendan always had a keen interest in the affairs and progress of our club, in fact his late father Michael was an outstanding member during the period from the middle 1950s to middle 1960s.

Michael was prominent in establishing Fermoy as hurling club as well as a Gaelic Football club which we were renowned for at the time. Michael served as Chairperson & Vice Chairperson for a period in those years.

It was during the mid-2000s that Brendan threw in his lot to assist at underage level where his son Tom was playing at the time. At the time interest and enthusiasm at underage was low, Brendan gathered a team of volunteers to reenergise the juvenile section. A lot of the current crop of adult players owe a huge debt of thanks to the work Brendan and friends put into them in those crucial years.

In 2009 Brendan made the jump from Juvenile Chairperson to Adult Club Chairperson and success started to flow almost immediately. In the course of the following 13 years under Brendan’s astute leadership we went from Junior to Senior A in both codes, under his steady hand we won county titles at U21 hurling, Junior Hurling, Intermediate Hurling, Intermediate & Premier Intermediate Football. We reached Premier Intermediate finals in both Hurling & Football in 2016 only to lose out narrowly in both. However, we recovered to win Premier Intermediate Football in 2018 and this play the very top grade in football in 2019.

The constant run of success was largely down to the Brendan’s leadership and vision.  

Brendan was heavily involved in the current development at our home grounds of Páirc Mac Gearailt. Along with his great friend Dave Ryan the development committee have overseen phase 1 which is the heavily used astro turf facility. At our recent AGM Brendan was present to update the members of works done to date and the next steps. In addition, Brendan was heavily involved in the running of our community gym.

Perhaps his greatest legacy to our club will be the development of “One Club”. At our club AGM in January 2019 Brendan put his considerable influence and name to a motion to formally create “One Club”. He warmly welcomed Camogie & Ladies Football to come into our club. He was passionate about Fermoy GAA being the “One Club” for Camogie, Ladies Gaelic Football, Hurling & Gaelic Football plus our Pitch & Putt section.

Brendan was hugely popular with everyone in our club, He was a very caring person with a unique talent for cooling potential fiery situations and was everyone’s friend, He was immensely proud of his club and was always willing to welcome new people to the club at and age level.  

In February 2023 Brendan was recognised by the club with the Club Person of the Year, it was an award that was long overdue and richly deserved.  

On the days following his sad passing when club members gathered in groups to speak of Brendan the common word that emerged was “gentleman”, without question he was an absolute gentleman.  

The often quoted phrase “We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.” could have been written with Brendan in mind, thanks to him we strove to be better, to do more and therefore we achieved more.

He will be greatly missed by all in our club. We will be all the poorer for his loss, his advice and his leadership but of course none will feel his loss more than his wife Katherine and his children Maeve, Fiona, Jenny & Tom.  

To Brendan’s family, extended family, wide circle of friends we extend our deepest sympathies.


Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.