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Members of Lansdowne were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Eddie O’Connor on Saturday the 6th of January.

Eddie fell ill last August, but, typical of the man, made a robust recovery after surgery and was full of positive energy for the future. Inside, however, his illness continued to catch up with him and he finally succumbed to it after a courageous battle.

Eddie was a deeply committed member and supporter of Lansdowne FC and a generous sponsor of club activities. He loved sport in general, from his soccer-playing days in Blackrock College, to his discovery of rugby in UCD (where he won an O’Connor Cup medal with the famous “Collidge” 3rd C’s), to fly fishing on the Moy, trawling off Wicklow Head for tope (small sharks) and game fishing in the West Indies, where he proudly caught a good-sized marlin a few years ago.

Rugby and golf were his main passions, however, and as a big, bustling second row he captained the Lansdowne 3A’s to the Moran Cup in the 1976-77 season in the company of club luminaries such as the great John Craig, Henry Blake, Johnny Mitchell, his great friend Rory Smith and the sadly missed John “Big J” Conmee, who passed away last June. Eddie’s captaincy methods were quite innovative at the time, including yoga sessions as part of the pre-match warm up!

Work in the ESB took Eddie firstly to Moneypoint in Clare, where he togged out for Kilrush RFC (for whom I played a game with him against Tralee while my wife Kay and I were visiting himself and Hildegarde – Eddie could be very persuasive!) and then in the late ‘70’s, where he achieved his proudest rugby moment as a member of the Ballina RFC side (a Junior club at the time) that defeated Athlone in the Connacht Senior Cup final in 1979.

Eddie often said of the occasion – “when we pushed them back in the scrum and I saw the whites of Leo Galvin’s eyes I knew we had them!”

He hit a mean golf ball and was very competitive on the course. At Caligulite (an LFC junior rugby “touring” side) golf outings, Eddie would retire to bed early the night before the competition while the remainder of the company were only getting started….

Eddie was a member of Elm Park Golf Club, where he played regularly with his late Dad, Robert (Bob), before moving to Powerscourt and finally to Portmarnock, getting into which he described as one of the greatest challenges he faced in his life!

Eddie was a brilliant man; full of life, so talented with great energy and drive and it is hard to accept he is gone. His business and professional career achievements have been richly and deservedly lauded elsewhere. But this was our Eddie, the fun-loving, wine-sipping guy who was deeply loyal and committed to his friends, among whom I feel privileged to have been counted.

Sadly, Eddie didn’t live to see the long-term fruition of his latest acquisition last July – a Bordeaux vineyard, Tour des Termes, a charming cru bourgeois for which Eddie had great ambitions.

Never was the adage more truly spoken that we shall not see his likes again.

Sleep well, old friend.

Michael Daly

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