On Tuesday of this week Connie ‘Andy’ Hegarty was laid to rest in Kilcar after his sudden death shocked the area at the weekend.
Connie Andy, as he was affectionately known, of Crowkerragh, Kilcar, was a former player and team captain of his local club and the Hegarty footballing name is known far and wide.
The late 1960s were difficult years for the GAA in South-West Donegal. Emigration robbed the area of its youth resulting in the amalgamation of the clubs from Glencolmcille to Dunkineely in order to field teams.
A revival started in Kilcar in the early 1970 and in 1971 Kilcar won the Donegal Junior Football Championship. This win was no doubt a pivotal event in the clubs history and the members of this 1971 team guided the club through the 1970s and 1980s.
Connie Andy was captain of that Kilcar team and will always be remembered as a Championship winning captain.
A former playing colleague said he was “a leader on the field. He played mostly as a centre half-back, but in later years moved to full-forward, where he was a ball winner.
“He was a strong player in an era when every man had to win his own ball, and Connie was a winner, very determined, always wanted to win.”
His family have all followed his great love for the game with his son, Michael, being one of the greatest players who ever pulled on the blue and gold of Kilcar and the green and gold of Donegal.
A weaver by profession, Connie Andy was also a farmer, who specialised in sheep farming in his area at the top of the Glen.
His sudden death caused great shock and sadness throughout South Donegal, where the family are widely known
At his funeral Mass family friend and relative, Padraig Carr, said the Hegarty house was always a busy house where people came for a chat and a laugh.
Said Padraig: “Connie was simply our ‘hero’ - to many he was an ordinary person; to his children he was extraordinary.
“It was so comforting to hear everyone share their fond memories of Connie and the same sentiments continuously echoed - A true gentleman; A great man; A great friend; A great neighbour; A fine footballer.”
In his 70s, Connie was predeceased by his wife, Breege, in 2002. His funeral Mass took place in St. Cartha’s Church, Kilcar on Tuesday and he was laid to rest in the graveyard on the Towney Road afterwards.
Predeceased also by a sister Maureen, Connie is survived by his sons Martin, Michael, Paddy and Noel; daughters Eileen and Colleen; daughters-in-law; sons-in-law; sisters Anne, Kathleen and Margaret, brother Seamus, grandchildren, and a large circle of relatives and friends.