Limerick mourns passing of key GAA figures

The late Liam Kearns

LIMERICK GAA, and the wider local community, lost two iconic figures over the weekend, with the passing of Tommy Moran and Liam Kearns.

A native of Athea, Tommy Moran acquired the Red Cow Inn pub on the outskirts of Dublin more than 30 years ago and developed it into a landmark hotel. He had previously run a Country Club in Carrigkerry before his move to the capital. 

In the mid-1990s, the Red Cow was the meeting point for thousands of Limerick supporters around the time of the All-Ireland Finals of 1994 and ’96. The crowds were accommodated in large marquees and two years later, Moran’s Hotel was up-and-running. 

The Moran Family became sponsors of Limerick’s flagship teams for a significant period and have remained proud backers of the county ever since. 

Many of his staff hail from West Limerick, both in Dublin and his other hotel, The Crown in London.

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In a facebook contribution, Athea Tidy Towns commented: “We are all deeply saddened to hear the news of Tommy’s passing this morning. A proud Athea man, who never forgot his roots and who delighted in supporting many community projects in his native village and county. May he rest in eternal peace.”

Late last night, news filtered through of the untimely passing of former Limerick senior football manager Liam Kearns. The Kerry native (Austin Stacks, Tralee) was first associated with Dromcollogher/Broadford, who he guided to County Junior, Intermediate and Senior Championships in successive years.

In Millennium Year, Kearns was in charge of a Limerick side that won its first and only Munster Under-21 Football title. Subsequently, Westmeath were swept aside in the All-Ireland semi-final and the team were unlucky to lose to a crack Tryone outfit in the final, a contest that drew a remarkable 20,000 to Cusack Park, Mullingar.  

He retired as a Garda Sergeant around ten years ago after completing his full 30 years of service, much of which was at Mayorstone Garda Station in Limerick City. 

Kearns was the current Offaly senior football manager.

The late Tom Moran celebrating Limerick’s 2000 Munster Under-21 title win with team captain Donnacha Sheehan.