It was with deep regret that we learned of the deaths of two great stalwarts of Cloone Gaa over the Christmas period. Following the news of the death of former club and County player Paddy Kelly came the news of the death of one of our great supporters and officials Charlie Mitchell.
Paddy Kelly was a very talented footballer who played with The Leitrim minor and under 21 teams and of course starred with Cloone when they won the Leitrim County minor and junior championship in 1962. Paddy also played on various Cloone teams later and won many medals at Junior, over thirty, and various other tournaments and had the honour of captaining the Cloone over thirty team on one of their three in a row title wins. Paddy’s knowledge of Gaelic games was exceptional and he featured on many occasions on the various quiz teams during our fundraising quizzes, but of late he enjoyed reminiscing on the exploits of The gunner Brady, the Gallant John Joe Reilly, and the great Piggy Jones, and if you weren’t up to speed with those names Paddy would not be long putting you in the picture .Along with his football ability Paddy was also a highly respected musician who entertained crowds far and near. Paddy was always available to provide music for various fundraising functions which were used very frequently when the development of the park was ongoing and while the organising were always very apprehensions until Paddy arrived, but once he did you were guaranteed the best in Irish music with a bit of Country thrown in. Paddy was a great friend to everybody and will be sadly missed and no doubt but when he arrived at the golden gates he enquired if the Gunner Brady was around. To Paddy’s family and extended circle of friend we express our sincere sympathy.
Charlie Mitchell was a long time supporter of Cloone GAA and had the distinction of being the holder of a Leitrim Senior hurling Championship medal in 1956 with a Cloone Aughavas combination. Charlie having spent some years in England returned to Ireland in the late sixties early seventies and purchased what was then a parochial house in Streamstown. It was from Charlie that Cloone GAA bought the land that the clubs Gaa Park is now situated. Charlie trusts himself into all things Cloone GAA and was available for any task, no matter what. Charlie along with his long time friend Raymond Wynne became umpire in residence for Cloone GAA and both were always available to do this unpopular job. Playing numbers at that time were tight enough but once we had fifteen players and with Charlie at the head of the umpiring department we always took the field with confidence. Charlie was always a very popular umpire with all referees but he wouldn’t be shy in gently advising the referee in a nice polite way if he had made a mistake in his interpretation of a particular rule. Charlie was always available to help our GAA club out in any way and his presence will be sorely missed by all who knew him. To his wife Mary, daughters Doreen, Caroline, and Tara, to his extended family and large circle of friends we extend our sincere sympathy.