One of the largest crowds ever seen in a popular Donegal town pub and restaurant since its opening night turned out last week to pay tribute to a much-loved man who passed away recently, a man who was known to everybody as a “gentleman who sparingly used the red card!”
Liam Brown, who passed away last September in the prime of his life, worked in Magee of Donegal but indeed was best known throughout the county and further afield as the man who always had both the yellow and red cards tucked away in his back pocket.
Liam was one of the most respected and popular referees ever to grace the playing fields of the many GAA and soccer pitches throughout the county, and the respect that he was held in was very evident at the fundraising event held in Dom’s Pier 1 in Donegal Town.
Liam was very much part of the Dom’s Pier 1 family where both his wife Mary and son, Mark worked and it was a fitting venue for such a large gathering of this man’s many friends. Ger and Michael Breslin deserve great credit too for a superb night.
After Liam’s untimely passing a few of his friends - Michael Breslin, Paul Kennedy and Seamus Faulkner got together and decided to organise an appreciation night for Liam but one that would also raise valuable funds for both the Hospice in Donegal Town and Medical 2 in Letterkenny General Hospital in recognition of the care that Liam was shown during his illness.
The night was perhaps one of the biggest successes in many years with friends travelling from all parts of the county and the neigbouring counties of Tyrone and Fermanagh.
Seamus Faulkner said: “Tonight is a real tribute to Liam and shows the esteem that he was held in far and wide.
“A referee’s job can be difficult and it can be hard to escape ruffling a few feathers but Liam was always fair and never made an enemy in all his days on the football pitch.
“I would like to thank all the sponsors who gave so generously for this fundraising event - in the present financial climate we never expected so much; people have just been so supportive.
“I would also like to thank the many volunteers who helped on the night and gave so freely of their time - their help has been invaluable.”
Mary Brown told the Donegal Democrat: “Liam would have enjoyed this night so much among all his friends but I could feel him looking down and smiling. He is never far away and I know that he is looking after us all.
“There is a little robin who comes to my back door at home everybody and I often feel that Liam has sent him to keep an eye on me and make sure that I’m alright.”
Michael Breslin said: “Tonight has been such a successful night with two very important charities benefiting that we are strongly considering running further events to assist local charities in these tough times.”