By BRIAN MOORE
A WEST Cork man, who was credited with starting and developing the Community Games and other sporting organisations in Clare, has had a sports and amenity park renamed in his honour.
Community leaders, members of Clare County Council, the mayor of Ennis and many friends and relatives turned out for a ceremony last week to honour the late Garda Sgt John O’Sullivan, to unveil a plaque and to rename the Ennis Sports and Amenity Park, the ‘Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Park’.
John, who hailed from Lough Hyne, was posted to Clare when he left the Garda College in Templemore in the early 1950s. He was first posted to Miltown Malbay, where he resurrected the local boxing club and started up a lifesaving club. ‘To many, John is known for his many years of service as a member of An Garda Síochána and his lengthy association with Clare Community Games,’ the mayor of Ennis Ann Norton said at the unveiling of a plaque in John’s honour.
‘The truth is that John was the driving force behind many community organisations, particularly sporting ones,’ added the mayor.
‘He was as much a visionary as he was a community volunteer and activist. He saw sport as a way of fostering social inclusion and creating a sense of community.’
John’s widow, Cecilia O’Sullivan, unveiled a plaque bearing her husband’s name at the entrance to the facility, which is located on the Drumcliff Road in Ennis.
‘In renaming this facility as Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Park, Lees Road – we are celebrating John’s memory and more importantly, his contribution to community life in this town and throughout the county,’ Mayor Ann Norton told the group gathered to honour the West Cork man.