"I always say "Keep them in sport & out of Court"
I suppose it’s kind of apt with my name being Seanchail, after the patron Saint of Killeigh. I am very proud of my connections to the area. My parents were Brendan Kelly from Gurteen & Elizabeth O'Brien from Cappenlug, near Kilcavan. They married in 1952 and had 8 children, Finbar, Mary, Colette, Geraldine, Dolores, Teresa, myself & Bernadette. They lived opposite the green in Killeigh for 5 years in what most people would know as Dick Coltons house. Bridge Colton was Daddy's sister. After 4 children were born they moved to Kilcavan. My father was a calf man and needed more shed space for livestock. Their intentions were to build in Gurteen, but they settled there and another 4 of us were born by 1968. When my Ma was expecting me in the winter of 1964 my sister Geraldine developed a strange rash on her arm and chest. They were referred to a cancer hospital in Dublin as they didn't know what it was in Tullamore. Daddy had an Uncle by the name of Chris Young, and he told Ma to visit St. Seanchail's Wells first. She promised if Geraldine got cured and I was a boy she would call me Seanchail. As you can see this all came to pass as the rash disappeared.
I went to Clonaghadoo NS and secondary school in Mountmellick . I served an apprenticeship with Barney Glennons but my passion was to join An Garda Siochana and that is what I did. I went to the border in May 1985, a place called Omeath, Co Louth and 3 years later transferred to Athboy, Co. Meath. Having visited New York where my 3 sisters resided Dolores, Teresa and Bernadette, I got the bug for The Big Apple and in June 1990, having failed to secure a career break, I resigned from the force and moved to The Bronx myself. It was a decision I am sorry I had to make, but not one I'm sorry I took. I'd regret it forever if I'd have taken the safe option & stayed in a job I loved rather than taking a chance in life.
Unfortunately it didn't work out, as shortly after I went to New York my poor Ma got Motor Neoron Disease. As she was failing and my sister's had returned home in turns, I returned home too. Ma attended my sister Teresa's wedding after Christmas, but died 3 months later aged 66.
In the meantime with intentions of returning to New York, I had got a bread van job with O'Donohues Bakery. “2 weeks I'll give you” said Cathal for the Christmas rush. I was with him 4 years on. I done various jobs in between until I started my own Taxi business, in 2003. I kept it going until March 2020 when Covid 19 darkened our land. However a career change came about and have been working with Noonans Security in Naas & Tullamore Hospitals ever since. After 30 years I was back in uniform and am loving the job. Married Marie Guckian in December 2000 and we have 3 great children. Cormac 19, Sharona 16 and Seanchail 14.
My great loves growing up were sport and music. I've always been a huge U2 fan and first seen them in 1981 at the first Slane concert. £8 for the ticket and Thin Lizzy was the support band, fond memories I will treasure.
I played Gaelic football for Kilcavan of course, and Tullamore. I also played soccer for numerous clubs. In 1997 I was delighted to be back in Killeigh once again and myself and my then brother in law Gerry Crowe founded Killeigh Utd Soccor Club. I was very proud as a player manager just 2 years later to win the Division 4 Counties League with a great bunch of lads, most of them local and a few from Tullamore. I got 2 Leinster medals whilst in the Guards for soccer & Gaelic football, but the medal I treasure most was an U14B hurling medal with Killeigh in 1978.
I'd grown up admiring all the hurling medals my father had won for his beloved Killeigh. My Ma had made a wall plaque with them hanging on it and she'd shine them every so often. I'd be picking strawberries for Sean Condron in the summertime and staying in Martin Dunnes, Scrubb. Finbar was married to Betty Dunne and I'd go to hurling training with Timmy. One night Mick O'Rourke RIP asked me to join in and I found myself on the panel thereafter. The men that looked after us chaps had a great sense of pride in their area. They wanted to win no matter what age group. It was for the Community around them. I remember going to a disco in the hall in 1982, and it's a pity to see it fall into disrepair over the years. It would be great to see it fully developed again, so that future underage county champions would have a place to go for medal presentations etc. The underage soccer is also thriving and if these kids have a place to share their glory with their parents and mentors it drives them on.
I always say "Keep them in sport & out of Court" and it’s true. I wish the hard working Development Committee the best of luck in their endeavours going forward. These stories will be great reading I feel in years to come for people to know about the people of Killeigh & Beyond.