HomeBasketballMany great tributes paid to ‘giant of Irish basketball’

Many great tributes paid to ‘giant of Irish basketball’

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Mary Flanagan, a very giving person

A GIANT of Irish basketball with deep connections with the Clondalkin and Inchicore communities died last Thursday, April 18.

Mary (Carmel) Flanagan died peacefully surrounded by her family and friends at St Vincent’s Hospital after a long illness.

The depth and breadth of tributes expressed online the following day is an indication of the respect, love and esteem in which Mary is held.

These sentiments were reinforced by one of her many friends, Mick White.

“I have known Mary for 40 years plus. She came to Rathcoole Rockets in the ’90s and she has been with us ever since. We became Dublin Lions after the amalgamation of a number of clubs,” said Mick.

After the formation of Rathcoole Rockets Mick was invited to coach at the club. Dublin Lions was formed in the late ‘90s in which Mary became very involved.

As Mary lived in Inchicore she originally became involved in basketball through the Naomh Mhuire club who were based in the Oblates.

“Mary and a couple of more parents and Fr Joe Moran decided that there was a need for an underage club and Mary became involved with the u-14s in Naomh Mhuire,” said Mick.

During her involvement with various basketball clubs Mary was a manager to many teams. “She was always there to help others, once she put her mind to something, she was the guiding light, she has left a great legacy,” said Mick.

Mary also did table-officiating at countless games. “She did it for every team in Dublin, Killester, Éanna’s – she was also very involved with Marian Basketball. She was a very giving person,” said Mick.

Mary was also involved in basketball beyond the club scene. “Any international or official Ireland tournaments, Mary was there,” said Mick.

Alluding to Mary’s generosity of spirit, Mick referenced one of the countless tributes on Facebook.

“Not only did she take charge of a game, she also took charge of the table officiators, she would have tea and goodies for them as she knew it would be a long day for them – she looked after others,” said Mick.

Mary’s commitment to basketball was total. “She was straight down the line with you, if she thought something was wrong she would tell you. But when the game was over she would be the first to invite you for a drink or for lunch or ‘did you want a lift home?’. She was straight as a die,” said Mick.

Management was one of Mary’s skills.

“People adored her, she was the best at it [managing]. If she was manager to an underage team, she was like a second mother to them, she defended them to the hilt,” said Mick.

Mary worked as a civil servant, according to Mick. “She was pretty high up in the Department of Finance, she was involved in the litigation end of things behind the scenes,” said Mick. When Mary retired her commitment to basketball increased even further. “For the last ten years plus, she gave 12 hours a day to basketball,” said Mick.

Such is the esteem that Mary is held in the Basketball community there was a moment’s applause before each of the three All-Ireland’s held in Gormanstown, Co. Meath on Saturday last.

Mary was also involved in the Community Games and in Primary Schools Basketball.

Her other big passion was sewing. “She was in sewing clubs, she would sew christening quilts. She had a huge group of friends from that circle,” said Mick.

Mary is survived by her daughter Megan and her grand-daughter Lucy. “Mary was devoted to them,” said Mick.

The passing of Mary is a great loss for a great many people. “Over forty years she had become an extremely good friend, I will greatly miss her,” said Mick.

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