It was with great sadness on the morning of Wednesday, February 18th last that word filtered through of the passing of Sean Cullen from Coolamber, Edgeworthstown.
Sean was a true gentleman of Longford GAA and served for a time as Chairman of the Longford County Hurling Board as well as Chairman of Wolfe Tones Hurling Club and was President of Wolfe Tones up until his passing.
He was born in 1937 in Ballywilliam, County Wexford where his local club was Rathnure. In his early years he the pleasure of going to school and hurling with some of the greats of hurling, including the famous Rackard brothers and Jim English who went on to win All-Irelands with Wexford. It was while playing the game he loved that Sean suffered a bad injury in an underage game and due to complications it led to him losing the use his left arm which cut short his very promising hurling career. Despite not being able to play the game he never lost the love of hurling and remained involved in an administrative capacity up until recent years.
Off the field of play Sean studied horticulture and he became the first disabled person to qualify as a horticulturist in Ireland. It was this career path which resulted in him moving to Edgeworthstown when he secured a job at Coolamber Manor as head Horticulturist. For many years he worked there and during this time he passed on his skills to several of the students who attended. Following on from this he began his own gardening business which he successfully ran for many years up until his retirement.
He became involved with Wolfe Tones Hurling Club in 1972 and after only a short time he was elected chairman. At that time he made it the goal of the Club to have all kids playing and enjoying hurling. He felt it was vital that the fundamental foundations were put in place for the kids to have the skills required for hurling but also for the club to survive into the future. He succeeded on both counts and it was a remarkable legacy to his tireless work over a 40 year spell when last Thursday evening over 100 past and present hurlers lined the avenue from the Manor and across the road to St. Marys Church, Edgeworthstown in a Guard of Honour to recognise the selfless dedication he gave to hurling in this County.
He was also very proud of his family and it gave him great pleasure to see his son Paddy line out for Longford in Croke Park when they won the Lory Meagher Cup in 2010. He also experienced Wolfe Tones reaching a Leinster Club Final last November in which his son Paddy and his grandson John played.
To his wife Mary, sons Sammy, Tony and Paddy; daughter-in-law Paula; grandchildren Mark, John, Claire, Darragh and Padraig; sisters Anastasia, Margaret and Peggy; brother Tom, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends we extend our deep sympathy.
Ar dhies De go raibh a anam dilís.