This is a newish feature of our website that will be periodically updated, at no set time, and with no time frame in mind. This new section will highlight the work done by individuals from within the club, who’s work goes largely un-noticed by the players, fans and outsiders, but those who know the club, will recognise their efforts and know of their sterling and dedicated work to the cause that is, bettering Ballymun Kickhams. These tributes have sadly only been used to commemorate our members that have passed away, so to change the record a small bit, we are going to recognise the brilliant living members of the club!

We began in January with the absolutely terrific Linda Parnell, and there are very few people who even deserved to be mentioned in the same sentence as this fabulous lady. However, when I do mention this man’s name, you will all recognise instantly the worthiness. While playing both codes of football, he showed huge determination to succeed on the pitch (despite his stature) performing like a giant, he also took the desire onto the committee table. He originally joined the executive committee back in the 90’s. This tribute is dedicated the the living legend that is Mr. Dermot McMahon.

When Dermot takes to the field (yes I use the present tense, as when this pandemic is over, Dermot is determined to give it one more year) he plays beyond what his diminutive stature suggests. So much so, that in a spell with the senior footballers, assistant manager, Gerry Hargan spoke of him “defying science” and manager Val saying he played like he was 6′ 4″. Also an accomplished hurler and cyclist, Dermot never let the impossible get in the way of the cause. On the field this is typified in one example of when he lost a hurl, he threw himself across a swiping shot and blocked the slitter with his bare hand.

His on field desires transcended the white line and into the committee room. As stated earlier Dermot first set foot onto the executive committee of the club, under the guidance of a quite magical figure, the sadly departed Mr Sean Andrews. Sean recognised very early that Dermot was one to keep, and he quickly drew his wings around him, guiding and cajoling and even moulding him into the fantastic administrator he remains to this day. Sean’s gentlemanly, yet steely desire, is very evident in Dermot today. In fact, Dermot being likened to Sean is one of the greatest tributes we can think of paying to any person from within or out of the club.

His administrative magic is often best viewed in our (now annual) scramble for All Ireland tickets, where he resembles an 18th century bard, winning over the hearts and minds of the ticketing gurus in Parnell park with rhyme and limerick! But it doesn’t end there. Whenever there is any event for betterment of the club, Dermot is first in to lend a hand, cycling the length and breadth of the island, even going so far as to dress up as cross-dressing serial killer at one stage. Always a shoulder for any person in the club, and always there in the midst of crisis and in times of peace, and always with club and friendship to the fore of his thoughts. A brilliant delegator and central to the club. A miniature Sean Andrews, so to speak!

Dermot is many things. Highly regarded by the powers in Parnell park as a staunch ally or a fierce foe when occasionally on the opposite side of the table. A loving family man first and foremost who cares for Justine, Myles, Jack and Molly (and their dog) but who always finds time for fun when necessary. A fiery competitor on the pitch, but the firmest of team mates. A chronically hard worker and yet a highly professional worker for the club.

Despite all these terrific attributes, Dermot always finds time for the simpler things. He’s regularly seen on the sideline supporting the under 11’s (Jack’s team) and first to crack a joke, often at his own expense. He (despite having an incredibly busy professional life) is always first to lift the phone to offer words of encouragement, congratulations, or commiseration as they fit. So you can see how it was an easy decision for this choice of Laochra na gclub.

Comhgairdeas Diarmuid MacMathúna, Laochra na gclub, De Domhnach 5ú Aibreain 2020.

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