Lives Lost to Covid-19: Finbarr O’Shea, ironworker and Cork City Football Club superfan

Finbarr was a beloved figure at the club and always had a smile on his face

Finbarr O’Shea


Finbarr O'Shea, in his distinctive green flat cap with the club crest, was a beloved figure at Cork City Football Club since its inception in 1984.

O’Shea cleaned the dressing rooms, made tea, chased footballs from the top of the stands and shared in the joys and sorrows of a club that went from League of Ireland champions and FAI Cup champions in 2017 to relegation last season.

His affection for the club took him to watch them play against Galatasaray, Bayern Munich, Malmo, NEC Nijmegen and Nantes during their European adventures.

His devotion to Cork City also extended to previous incarnations of the club – Cork Hibernians and Cork Celtic.

He was, as broadcaster and fellow Cork City fan John Creedon called him, a "sweetheart of a man" who always had a smile on his face.

The club paid tribute to him, describing him as a “hugely dedicated City supporter, volunteer and a friend to us all”.

The familiar cap was placed on his coffin following his death as a result of Covid-19 on January 20th in St Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork.

O'Shea was originally from Nun's Walk, Ballyphehane and lived in Pinecroft, Douglas. He was married to Helen. The couple had five children and 15 grandchildren.

He ran his own business, O’Shea’s Ironworks in Tory Top Road, where he made wrought iron gates. He only stopped doing the job four years ago after suffering a stroke.

It was while he was in respite in St Finbarr’s that he caught Covid and died.

His daughter Helena said her father was “always so generous with his love and time. From Cork city to Ballyphehane Church, where he served as a Minister of the Eucharist, he just loved talking and sharing stories.

"He was a great dad and grandad and loved nothing more than Sunday spins to Fountainstown for a 99. He and my mom had a great relationship. They were so dedicated to each other."

Helena said the family regretted not being able to give their father the funeral service he deserved, but they hope to have a service and a celebration of his life in due course.