Heavy showers did not deter the many people who turned out on Friday last for the official naming ceremony of O’Boyle Park at Forthill.
The ceremony took place two years to the day from the untimely passing of Councillor Seamie O’Boyle, in whose honour the Park was named.
Among the large attendance were Seamie’s wife Mairead, son Gino and other members of the O’Boyle family, Cathaorleach Councillor Seamus Kilgannon and serving and former members of the Council, Local TDs and many friends and neighbours from the Northside Community.
Bartley Gavin was the Master of Ceremonies for the event and introduced the speakers for the ceremony, Cathaoirleach Kilgannon, Councillor Declan Bree, Councillor Gino O’Boyle and Noel Kennedy, Secretary of the Sligo-Leitrim & District League.The flood-lit park just off Connaghton Road, often described as a 'hidden gem' has two soccer pitches, a
GAA field, running track and basketball court along with a recently
added outdoor gym.
The late Cllr Seamie O'Boyle was active in the development of the park which received grant aid from the Sports Capital programme in 2003 to create two pitches.
The pitches upgraded and fencing erected 2009 with the running track laid in 2012/2013.
The latest addition, erected earlier this year is a state-of-the-art out-door gym/recreational facility.
Clubs and schools benefiting from O'Boyle Park include, Glenview Stars, Calry/St Joseph’s and the Grammar School Devoted
In his address, the Cathaoirleach said that while the late Seamie O’Boyle was first and foremost a devoted husband and father, he also touched the lives of many people during his service as a public representative. "It is fitting that his family, his community, and his colleagues convene two years to the day since his untimely passing to officially name this amenity in his honour. It is also fitting that this excellent facility, which was close to Seamie’s heart, will forever bear his name and will always be associated with his memory.
Cathaoirleach Seamus Kilgannon speaking at the naming ceremony. Photo: SligoToday.ie
"Seamie's friendly and obliging nature, allied to his gift of modesty, made him a hugely regarded and popular figure in his community. This regard was very much in evidence on the night he was elected to the Council, Seamie was not one for long detailed speeches, which probably explains why that when he spoke, people listened. He was a man of action rather than words, which will certainly be confirmed by the many people he helped along the way.
"He was one of nature's true gentleman, whose warm and engaging personality will be his cherished legacy in the community he served with such pride and commitment. While it is certainly tragic to see a life cut short, there is a measure of consolation in that he contributed more in his brief time with us than most people would ever manage into their old age.Pride
"It would have been a great source of Pride to Seamie that his son Gino has carried on his exemplary standard of public service, and similarly has earned the respect and admiration of the community he serves with the same resolve and ambition as his late father. In the presence of our historic green-fort, at the highest vantage point overlooking his beloved Sligo town, we could not have a more perfect setting to honour Seamie’s memory. This wonderful amenity will continue to be visited and enjoyed by future generations, and everyone who passes through these gates will have cause to reflect on an inspirational figure whose name will always be recalled with great pride and fondness."
O'Boyle family members with elected officials at the naming of O'Boyle Park. Photo: SligoToday.ie
Councillor Declan Bree recalled Seamie’s brief but outstanding service as a public representative, and said he was always anxious to serve his community to the best of his ability. He had a special affinity for the Nazareth Sisters, he always looked out for the poor or marginalised, and right up to the moment of his untimely passing, he was working on behalf of the people he represented."Seamie O Boyle was a community and political activist with a passion for justice and fairplay. He was a man of the people who stood with the people in their daily struggles.
"He was also active in the campaign to save cancer services, in the Shell to Sea campaign and in the movement against the household charges. I am proud of the fact that I had the opportunity of sharing many platforms with him in numerous campaigns and most particularly in the Right2Water campaign.
"That the proposal to name this park in his honor was submitted in the names of all the elected members of Sligo County Council clearly confirms the esteem in which he was held by his colleagues on the Council and by the people of this county.
"He has left all of us a wonderful legacy and it is indeed fitting that this modern municipal park located on the historic Forthill would be named in his honour."
Noel Kennedy, Secretary of the Sligo-Leitrim & District League spoke of Seamie’s enormous contribution to junior soccer in Sligo. In various roles as player, manager and coach, "he was instrumental in encouraging many young people to play for Glenview Stars. But his popularity extended well beyond his immediate community, he was universally respected by clubs all over the county." Cllr Gino O'Boyle, son of the late Seamie O'Boyle addresses the gathering. Photo: SligoToday.ie
Cllr. Gino O’Boyle
said it was a great source of pride to their family that this amenity was being named in honour of his father, Seamie. He welcomed the many people from the Northside community who came out to support them on this special day, and he thanked the serving and former Councillors who served alongside his father during his time on the Council. He said his hope was that the new facilities at the park would be a popular attraction for the people of the area and beyond. Photo: SligoToday.ie
Cllr Tom Mac Sharry, Marc Mac Sharry TD, Cllr Keith Henry and former
councillor Seán MacManus at the ceremony. Photo: SligoToday.ie
A proud Cllr Gino O'Boyle stands beside the unveiled plaque honouring his late father, Seamie.