The late Jim Kierans

Ballinrobe GAA club regrets to announce the death today of a valued member of our club, Mr Jim Kierans (83).

A native of Magheracloone, Co.  Monaghan, Jim immersed himself in the life of Ballinrobe GAA club and community when he moved to the town in the early 1950s to take up a teaching position in Ballinrobe CBS.

He had previously taught in Belvedere College, Dublin. He was a noted scholar and held a First Class Honours Degree in Classics (Greek and Latin) from St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

He served at various levels within the club including as chairman and, in later years, as president.

Jim was a mentor to many generations of members of our club and played a particular role in helping players further themselves in education, employment and Gaelic football.

He was a former Mayo Minor football selector and was a member of the backroom team when Mayo won the All-Ireland minor title in 1978.

He was an accomlished actor with St Mary’s Dramatic Society, Ballinrobe, during the 1950s and 1960s.

A renowned historian, he published a book  A Chronicle of Ballinrobe some years ago which was a curated collection of news articles from the old Ballinrobe Chronicle newspaper. He also republished extracts from the Census of 1901 pertaining to Ballinrobe and the half-parish of Partry.

His  opinion was regularly sought by historians, authors, researchers and students and, right up until his recent illness, his mind remained as sharp as ever.  He was close to many families in the Ballinrobe area and, indeed,  it ws through one such relationship – with the Staunton family in Tooreen, Partry – that Jim developed a deep friendship with Steve Staunton, one of Ireland’s most decorated soccer players.

This bond was formed when Steve was a regular visitor to the home-place of his father, Tom, in Partry, during his childhood.

His remains will repose in St Joseph’s Funeral Home, Glebe Street, Ballinrobe, tomorrow evening, Saturday, between 5.30 and 7o’c. Removal will take place on Sunday morning for 11.30am Requiem Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Ballinrobe.  He will be laid to rest in his native Magheracloone on Tuesday, and not Monday as earlier anticipated.

Jim will be remembered at a number of club events this week-end and our O’Mara Cup game with Shrule-Glencorrib, scheduled for 12 noon on Sunday, has been changed to 2.30pm as a mark of respect. A minute’s silence will be observed before the game.

The club will give Jim a fitting send-off, in memory of a man who made a very very rich contribution to the lives of our members and to the educational, sporting, cultural and social aspects of Ballinrobe community. It could be said that Jim adopted the town of Ballinrobe – and equally the town of Ballinrobe adopted Jim.

We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and wide circle of friends. Funeral arrangements are available here: May he rest in peace.


–            Alan Flannery, Chairman, Ballinrobe GAA Club