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Tim Healy - An Appreciation

Tim Healy RIP

Just a short fortnight ago Cork Handball and the entire Handball Association lost one of its stalwarts with the sudden passing of Tim Healy, Liscarroll. A shockwave rippled through the GAA Handball community as the news filtered through that Tim had passed away. At that weekend's Wallball Nationals friends from all over the country met and the first thing that was on everyone's lips was Tim's passing. Throughout the weekend numerous stories were swapped and memories shared as the GAA Handball community grieved one of it's greatest servants. 

Tim through his dedication and selfless work epitomised the very meaning of the word volunteer and he represented everything that is good about the amateur ethos of the GAA. Tim gave tremendous service to his club holding down the position of club secretary for many years and also serving the club in a number of other capacities. He was very much involved in the renovation of the old handball court in Liscarroll to its current day status and in the ongoing drive to further update and improve the clubs facilities. Tim also gave huge service to Cork and Munster Handball, he served as Chairman of Cork Handball Board for sixteen years finally stepping down in 2009. He also served as Chairman of Munster Handball Council from 1998 to 2002. He was also one of the Cork delegates to Munster Handball Council for over twenty years.

He was recognised for his outstanding work when he received the GAA Presidents Award in 2015 for his lifelong contribution to Handball. He was also honoured by Irish Handball with the Annual Achievement Award in 2007 for his work in particular with Juvenile Handball. He was acknowledged countywide for his organisation of the now infamous Munster Open U13 and U15 boys and girls tournaments over the Christmas/New Year period for the past twenty years.

When it was first decided by Munster Council to organise this tournament Tim volunteered Liscarroll venue to host it. From a humble beginning it has grown to be one of the biggest juvenile tournaments in the Handball calendar running over a six day period from December 27th to January 1st catering for young players who travel from the four corners of Ireland representing all four provinces. Some of the best Juvenile players in the country have excelled due to the level of competition they received at the Liscarroll Tournament and it is acknowledged by coaches up and down the country as being a vital step in any Juvenile's progression through the ranks. Not only is the standard exceptionally high so too is the welcome afforded to the many who pass through the door and who are looked after with the finest hospitality. 

Tim also organised a number of adult tournaments over the years covering both team and Masters Singles and would be in the alley nightly refereeing. Liscarroll was always a popular central venue for Cork and Munster games and Tim always ensured that either himself or another club member was present to referee the huge number of games played in Liscarroll. He worked tirelessy to promote the game at club, county and provincial level. 

Tim Healy was a true clubman, a true volunteer and a true Gael. Perhaps the most impressive of all his traits was his humility, he wasn't doing this for awards or recognition he had a genuine devotion to the game and the fact that GAA Handball currently boasts the finest Juvenile Handballers in the world is testament to the devotion of people like Tim to the Juvenile game. His passing leaves a huge void and one that will be incredibly difficult to fill . As the Irish saying goes "ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann". In Tim Healy's case this is certainly true. 

GAA Handball would like to offer its sincere sympathies to Tim's wife Kathleen, daughter Jackie, sons Tim, Raymond and Ger and his extended family. 

Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam. 

*Thank you to Peter Dennehy Cork Handball for his contribution to the article.