Kevin Heffernan removal takes place

Mon, Jan 28, 2013, 00:00

Kevin Heffernan had refused to be regarded as an exceptional person in any sense despite his achievements, former ESB colleague Michael Heyden said this evening.

“He always kept his feet firmly planted on the ground,’’ he added.

Mr Heyden was speaking at the Church of St Vincent de Paul, Griffith Avenue, Dublin, where Mr Heffernan’s remains were received by Monsignor John Fitzpatrick, parish priest of Sutton.

Mr Heffernan, a Dublin All-Ireland winning captain and legendary manager, died on Friday aged 83. He spent 36 years working with the ESB, retiring as personnel manager, and he also served as chairman of the Labour court.

Mr Heyden said it was a privilege to be a friend of Mr Heffernan and his family. “Kevin expected a lot from his friends,’’ he added. “On the other hand, he never set any limits on how far he would go to support either his family or his friends.’’

Those involved with him in work and the GAA found him challenging at times and people had to stay on their toes to keep in with him.

“But there was another side to Kevin which he kept quiet all the time. He was a very sympathetic and kind man,’’ Mr Heyden added.

The church was filled to overflowing, with the large attendance including members of “Heffo’s Army’’ the name given to Mr Heffernan’s Dublin charges in the 1970s and ‘80s. Among them were Tony Hanahoe, Jimmy Keaveney, Kevin Moran, Gay O’Driscoll, Paddy Cullen, Pat Gilroy, Tommy Conroy, Tommy Drumn, Bernard Brogan and Brian Mullins. Also present was former Kerry manager and arch rival from the legendary Kerry-Dublin clashes, Mick O’Dwyer; GAA director general Padraic Duffy and Michael “Babs’’ Keating from Tipperary.

The chief mourners were Mr Heffernan’s wife, Mary, daughter Orla and her family.

Mr Heffernan will be buried tomorrow at St Fintan’s cemetery, Sutton, after 11 am Mass.