HERE was widespread shock and sadness last weekend at the sudden death of a former Offaly minor and Edenderry senior footballer.
Damian McKeon, Blundell Wood, Edenderry and Kilcock, Kildare died suddenly at his Edenderry home at just 47 years of age.
He will be fondly remembered by Offaly GAA supporters for his performances on the Offaly team that won the Leinster Minor Football Championship title in 1989, going on to reach the All-Ireland final where they were beaten by a strong Derry side.
McKeon was excellent that year on the Offaly half forward line, scoring regularly and setting up many more scores with his cultured left foot.
While he didn't go onto play senior football for Offaly, he continued to play for Edenderry for a decade after that, winning a Senior Football Championship medal with them in 1995.
The highlight of his career was 1989. He scored 2-19 in Offaly's championship run, from frees and play, got 1-3 in a man of the match display in the Leinster final against Kildare and scored 7 points and 1-2 in earlier rounds against Westmeath and Meath, 2 points in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Kerry and one against Derry in the final.
He also represented Kildare Vocational Schools while he remained a passionate GAA man after his playing career ended – he finished his playing career with Rhode, where he lived at that time. He coached various underage teams in Edenderry over the past few years and loved discussing the GAA and games while he also enjoyed a game of golf.
A very popular man, he worked as a sales representative with Trade Safety in Clara. He was buried in Edenderry on Monday and is survived by his mother, Marie; brother, John, sister Siobhan and her fiancee John, daughter Moya and her mother Tina, aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family, relatives and friends.