By Jimmy Rhatigan
DESCRIBED by one of his many good friends as one of nature’s gentlemen, St John’s Parish man, Noel Walsh, popularly Lou, passed away at St Luke’s General Hospital on Sunday.
“Noel was a generous man, a true friend, a real gentlemen,” Frank Cody, a fellow parishioner, told The Reporter.
“We met Lou regularly for a cup of tea and a good chat at Quigley’s Café in MacDonagh Junction.
“He loved to talk about sport generally but particularly hurling, He will be sadly missed.”
A former employee of the then Smithwick’s Brewery, Noel took early retirement but suffered a setback when he became ill at the 2010 All-Ireland senior hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary.
He battled back bravely and enjoyed many good years until very recently when he was hit by illness again. He had been a patient at St Luke’s for a week.
Single, he had many hobbies. As a young man his great love was the game of soccer and he played for many seasons with Ormondevilla in the Kilkenny & District League.
He was also a founder member of O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club and was totally voted to the Gaels and to Kilkenny hurling in general.
When it came to sport, he was a fountain of knowledge. Along with journalist, Enda McEvoy and Cyril Keegan, he won the Jimmy Magee All-Ireland quiz representing O’Loughlin Gaels.
His remains were removed to St John’s Church on Monday and burial was at St Kieran’s Cemetery yesterday, Tuesday, following Requiem Mass.
Aged 69, Lou was a quiet but friendly man who had mastered the art of conversation in a witty and knowledgeable way.
He is survived by his sisters, Marie, Helen, Kathleen, Teresa, Ann and brother Eddie.
Final tributes to a favourite son were led by chairman Brian Murphy and the greater O’Loughlin Gaels family.