The late Anna O’Loughlin, RIP


It is with great sadness that Ballinrobe GAA Club announces the passing of one of our greatest supporters, Anna O’Loughlin. A native of Kilnaboy, Co. Clare, Anna (87) became an integral part of life in this town after moving here in 1970.

If there was a match, you could rely on Anna being there, along with her husband, Christy, who passed away 12 years ago. A quietly spoken woman, Anna often sat in the car up on ‘the embankment’ at Flanagan Park where she studied football and hurling encounters with an astute eye.

The O’Loughlin family at a recent family gathering. (L to r): James, Evelyn, PJ, Anna, Fergal, Brendan and Declan.

Afterwards, she would share with players and mentors a thoughtful word of commendation or encouragement, as befitted the outcome. Her loyalty to the club was undiluted in every circumstance.

Long journeys to remote venues never cost her a thought, either. Wherever the maroon and yellow of the club – or the blue and white of Ballinrobe CBS and later Ballinrobe Community School – fielded teams in pursuit of victory, Anna and Christy made it their business to be there, an inseparable couple who wanted only the best for the people they knew and loved. Multiple generations of Ballinrobe players regarded Anna with great warmth and respect, and her passing has occasioned much sadness locally.

Anna and Christy moved here in 1970, when Christy was appointed to work as farm manager at the agricultural research station at Creagh, Ballinrobe. He served for a period as vice chairman of our club and was also heavily involved in the physical developments of our facilities at Flanagan Park. He played an active part in Ballinrobe hurling club during the 1970s and 1980s.

Their sons contributed to some of the best days our club has ever had – a teenage PJ featured on the team that captured our first Mayo Intermediate Championship title in 1979; Brendan played on the 1990 side that won the Mayo Junior Championship; and Fergal was a leading light when we won our second Intermediate Championship title in 2000.

Grandson Fionn O’Loughlin receives the Christy O’Loughlin Cup, in memory of his grandfather, from his grandmother, Anna, in 2018.

Fergal figured on the Ballinrobe Community School team that won the historic first All-Ireland Senior B title in 1991. Brendan was a substitute on the Mayo team that won the 1983 All-Ireland U21 Championship.

The family involvement is as strong as ever and is highly valued by all of our members.

Anna and Christy’s son, Declan, who also played at under-age level with the club, is a key figure in the club’s ever-expanding ladies football wing. The emergence of a strong ladies football sector in the club dictated that after many years watching her sons star in the Ballinrobe colours, Anna had the great joy of watching her grand-daughter, Ailbhe, shine for the club.

Grandson Fionn, who is also an accomplished basketballer, has worn the club jersey from an early age. Declan’s wife, Katherine (Butler), is a former club secretary.

The Christy O’Loughlin Cup was inaugurated in 2012 and Anna presented the cup to winning captains on a number of occasions, including to Fionn in 2018.

In 2012, when the next generation of O’Loughlin footballers emerged to don the club colours, grandmother Anna was a very proud woman. She is pictured here with granddaughter Ailbhe and grandson Fionn at the club’s Debut Day.

We extend our deepest sympathy to Anna’s sons James, PJ, Brendan, Declan and Fergal; daughter Evelyn; daughters-in-law; son-in-law; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and extended family members on their loss. As a club, we feel acutely the pain of Anna’s passing, and are mindful of the fact that the family have lost a dearly loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Funeral details are available HERE. The club will form a guard of honour at the removal of her remains from St Joseph’s Funeral Home to St Mary’s Church on Sunday.


John Sweeney, Chairman, Ballinrobe GAA Club.