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Dermot joins Pantheon of Kinsale Greats

JJ Hurley

Dermot Collins joined an illustrious group of Kinsale GAA Club members when he received a Laochra Gael award for a lifetime of service at a ceremony at Acton's Hotel on Friday night last.

Described as a man who epitomises the very ethos of true Gaelic community life by Seamus McCarthy, who delivered the citation.

'A club career of epic proportions, laden with honours,' Seamus added, 'It was followed by an equal career as a selector and administrator, which has copper-fastened Dermot's place in the pantheon of Kinsale's sporting greats.'

'As chairman of the club in 1970, he was instrumental in setting in place many of the standards and values that we still espouse in the club today, and his contribution to the ideals of volunteerism has been total and second to none .'

'His mentoring skills to players and administrators remain a lasting legacy.'

Dermot Collins

Outside his unique contribution to Kinsale's Gaelic games, his career as a referee is considered to have possessed the highest integrity.

 Witnessed by the attendance of his peers at Friday's function, which included former county board secretary Frank Murphy, former county board treasurer Pearse Murphy, former South East Board Chairman John Twomey, Cork All-Ireland Senior winning hurlers and footballers Ray Cummins, Martin Coleman, Dave McCarthy and current chairman of the South East Board, Myles Barry.

Responding to the many plaudites, which included remarks from the club's chairman, Ger Webb, chairperson of the club's history committee, Derry Coughlan, and master of ceremonies, Michael Creedon, 'Cossie', as he is affectionately known, described the ceremony as undeserving.

'I deeply appreciate the work that was put into this event this evening. I am certainly taken aback and surprised, but it is not deserved. I am definite about that. However, at the same time, the GAA has been a big part of my life,' Dermot remarked.

'I learned a lot from the GAA; they gave me a lot. I remember sitting in the same room as Jack Barrett as a young boy, and Jack would challenge everything, so that was an education for me and prepared me for life.'

Indeed, he admitted he brought those skills into his political career, where he spent many years on the local town council and was elected as its mayor and chairman on several occasions.

An avid history enthusiast, he was chairperson of the Beal ns Blath Commemoration Committee for many years and is currently serving on the Cork GAA County Board History Committee. He also played a significant role in publishing the story of Kinsale GAA.

The notion of belonging and roots remain at the heart of all Dermot does in the community and in that regard, he paid tribute to his wife, Breda, for her many years of support to him, as they were joined by their sons Diarmuid, Ronan and Gearoid and daughter Aine at Friday's celebration.

Dermot Collins pictured with his family

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