On 23rd June 2018 one of Clonduff’s finest young hurlers passed away as the result of cardiomyopathy. On 23rd June 2019, Peárce’s family, in conjunction with Clonduff GAA Club orgainised a superb Memorial Day to a much-loved son, brother, friend and team-mate.
The day began with the Anniversary Mass in St John the Baptist Church, Ballygorian celebrated by Fr Charlie Byrne and in which Peárce’s sister Caitlín sang the Psalm.
Participants in the day’s on-field activities started arriving in Clonduff Park around 1pm and despite the threat of rain it stayed away! The youngsters of St Malachy’s Primary School (the school in which Peárce was teaching) played Hurling/Camogie against a range of Clonduff youngsters from U12 downwards – three games ongoing simultaneously. Meanwhile there was a variety of games set up in the back field – penalty kick, hurling skills, ‘hurling golf’ and raffle tickets were sold for the many items donated by family, friends and members of the community. Then it was on to the main event – the Senior Sevens between Liatroim and Clonduff for the magnificent perpetual trophy created by Peárce’s father Tony. The game, which was won by Liatroim, was refereed by Clonduff’s Paddy Branagan.
Then it was into the Clubrooms for much-needed refreshments – many thanks to all who provided the eatables on the day. Caitlín, on behalf of her family, made the ‘thank-you’ speech followed by an emotion-filled video depicting Peárce’s life.
Tony presented the trophy to Liatroim captain Brian Morgan who spoke of the honour of playing in Peárce’s Sevens. And then it was the presentation of the cheques to Pearce’s Charities – Cardiomyopathy and Children’s Heartbeat Trust. A special commemorative jersey, designed by his club mates brought in the magnificent sum of £6,200; £5,000 went to Cardiomyopathy and the cheque was accepted by Christie Jones who was making his first ever visit to Northern Ireland. £1,200 was presented from the jerseys to Lynn Cowan of the Children’s Heartbeat Trust. There were also cheque presentations to both charities from St Malachy’s Primary School Kilcoo and a further cheque to Cardiomyopathy the proceeds of a hurling tournament run by Cumann Pheadar Naofa (Warrenpoint).
The early part of the evening concluded with the raffle of prizes sponsored by:
Carol & Catty Hairdressing (4 prizes), Mayobridge Golf Club, O’Hare’s Eurospar, McGreevy’s Spar, O’Hare’s Chemist, Mayobridge & Hilltown (2 prizes), Uppercuts Barber’s Shop, Downshire Arms Hotel, Hair Therapy, Declan McGarry, David Lowry, Declan Rooney, Dromore Meats, Satellite Filling Station, Mac’s Bar, Classique Hair Salon, Blondie’s Hair Salon, The Hair Room, GM Electrician, Orla McEvoy, Elaine Fegan (2 prizes), Rathfriland Hardware, Kingspan.
The event continued later in the evening in the Clonduff Clubrooms with live music and dancing.
This was a fantastic tribute to the memory of one of Clonduff’s finest young men. A massive thanks to the Brannigan Family, the Clonduff and Kilcoo communities, all who helped organise and run the day. People are already talking about next year’s event.