A great sense of sadness engulfed the entire community as the news spread of the death Of Michael Heslin on Thursday June 29th after a long illness bravely borne. Michael was a stalwart of Cloone GAA serving in different capacities in the late sixties and early seventies. Michael’s first taste of success as a Gaelic footballer came as a member of the Cloone under 16 team that won the 1966 Leitrim County championship final . Michael continued his involvement with Cloone and moved to the administration side, and when the occasion arose, Michael was elected secretary of Cloone club in 1969. He was at the centre of activity as Cloone captured the Leitrim Junior Championship in that year, and he was instrumental in organising the first ever Cloone GAA Annual dinner dance in the Slieve an Iarainn Hotel Ballinamore at which the success of the 1969 Junior team was celebrated.
Michael was a very generous man and gave endlessly of his time to Cloone GAA continuing on as Club secretary for 1970. Not alone did Michael serve as Club secretary but continued to do all the other work needed to keep a Gaa Club a float at that time. Whether it was representing the club as Co Board delegate, organising fundraising for the club, organising and participating in amateur dramatics as fundraising ventures, bringing players both old and young to games and training, Michael was there to do it. When the Club needed a referee to represent the Club on the Leitrim Gaa list of Interclub referee’s Michael was not found wanting and was Cloone Gaa’s only representative on the list at that time.
Following his time as Club secretary Michael took on the position of assistant secretary and was at the centre of all activities carried out for the development of the Club. Michael had a central role in the lead up to the infamous 1972 County Intermediate final, and were it not for the input of Michael Heslin the outcome might not have been the same.
In a time when not every house had a phone, and mobile phones were not even dreamt of, WhatsApp group chats were nowhere to be seen, Michael Heslin had a very important item and he certainly did not spare it when providing a service free of charge for Cloone. Michael Heslin had a motor car which became central to the activities of Cloone GAA. Prior to the advent of Club executives, when the Chairperson secretary and Treasurer ran the club, Michael’s car became the board room in which many important decisions regarding the affairs of the club were made.
In later years when Cloone needed to fill the position of Club Secretary Michael once again took on the role, and with the assistance of his wife Maureen, the administration of the club affairs was in safe hands. Michael continued his love for Cloone GAA and later on, on one occasion when the numbers didn’t add up Michael made sure Cloone fielded a team and took on the net minding duties. Michael was prepared to do whatever was needed for the betterment of Cloone GAA.
Michael was a great Community man and contributed greatly to many other organisations in the Parish, and as a founding member of Cloone Agricultural Show Committee, and he contributed handsomely to the development of the Cloone Annual Agricultural Show during its early years.
In later years Michael ill health prevented him from active participation but he never the less kept well informed on what was happening in local GAA circles.
Cloone Gaa Club would like to extend its sincere sympathy to Michael’s wife Maureen, his daughters Michele and Louise, his sister Anna, his extended family and large circle of friends.
Ar dheis de go Raibh a anam dilis