Teacher who left an indelible mark on county’s Gaelic games
Ultan Fitzpatrick, Kells
Ultan Fitzpatrick (82), whose funeral took place in Kells on Sunday 12th November, was a prominent member of Meath GAA County Board committees, who as well as encouraging young people to play, was an early promoter of ladies football, and was delighted to see the Meath women's football team All-Ireland success in recent years.
Living at Sydenrath, and a member of Gaeil Colmcille, he was a native of Sion in Johnstown, Navan, and the GAA grounds in Walterstown is named after his late father, John.
In a tribute, Meath County Board said that Ultan's dedication to Gaelic games and his contribution to the county's sporting heritage have left an indelible mark.
“Ultan's involvement with GAA was multifaceted; as a player, mentor, and supporter, he epitomised the spirit and passion that define our organisation,” it stated.
Amongst numerous other aspects of service, he is remembered for his longtime service as a club official, Meath GAA Minor Board and Meath GAA Post-Primary Schools' Committee member. He was also an early promoter of women's football within the GAA, setting up a pioneering team at Sydenrath.
“His commitment to nurturing young talent and preserving the cultural significance of our games was unwavering,” the County Board stated.
“As we mourn his loss, we also celebrate his countless contributions. We extend our deepest sympathies to Ultan's family, friends, and the many lives he touched within the GAA community.”
Gaeil Colmcille, Kells, said all at the club "are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend Ultan after his brave battle over the past few years."
"For decades, Ultan was Gaeil Colmcille to the core, serving on our executive right up to his death, only attending his last meeting not so long ago. Ultan not only served his club but he also served his county with immense pride sitting on numerous committees.
"On the field as a player, mentor, supporter and volunteer, Ultan was always one to put his hand up whenever his club or county called. A retired school teacher, Ultan dedicated so much of his time to underage football and particularly schools football.
"A wonderful father and grandfather, no doubt as a father one of Ultan’s most proudest moments was seeing his son Pat lift the Keegan cup with Gaeil Colmcille in 1991. We’ll miss Ultan’s cry of “Through the Chair” at meetings and he’ll be fondly missed."
Neighbouring GAA clubs also paid tribute. A woodwork and design teacher at Oldcastle VEC for 40 years, Ultan had a great rapport with his students.
He was a member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association for 65 years, and at his Funeral Mass on Sunday, Fr David Bradley, PP, Kells, recalled that he was a church collector for 41 years, while his wife, Mary was on the parish finance committee, both deeply involved in parish life and activities. He said that Ultan would often land with a carload of youngsters to Mary at Sydenrath after a match or training. Many of those came to the house again over the weekend to offer condolences. Fr Bradley described Ultan as a man of kindness, generosity and sensitivity, and recalled that he looked after stewarding of the wheelchair section at Pairc Tailteann until six weeks ago, when illness prevented him. At Meath County Board meetings, he led prayers in Irish for past members.
Predeceased by his parents, Anne and John, his sister, Rita Brady, and his brother Micheál, Ultan is survived by his wife, Mary; daughter, Margaret Lynch, Moynalty; son Pat, Lismullen (Oristown Auto Recyclers); grandchildren, Macdarragh, Donnagh, Fergus, Anna Mai, Conor, Isabella, Cullum, Jonathan and James, son-in-law Brendan and daughter-in-law Sharon; brother, Gerry, sisters-in-law Josephine and Mary, extended family, neighbours and friends.
A funeral took place from St Colmcille's Church, Kells, to St Colmcille's Cemetery.