By Denis Hurley
BANDON RFC stalwart John ‘Doc’ O’Driscoll, who passed away in Marymount University Hospice on Sunday 11th, will be remembered as a popular and engaging man.
Living to one day short of his 85th birthday, local vet John ‘Doc’ was associated with rugby in Bandon for more than 70 years and was a sitting committee member at the time of his passing, having been club president in both its centenary season of 1982-83 and again for the 125th anniversary in 2007-08. He was inducted into the club’s hall of fame in 1993 and served as a trustee and team selector over the years, always with an enduring support and knowledge of all teams.
The secretary of the rugby club, James Neville, pointed to an unyielding desire to get to know people as being a central part of his make-up.
‘People often commented on how sharp and alert John was,’ he said, ‘and that was probably down to his genuine interest in people. He walked the length and breadth of the town, meeting and chatting to all of his friends and even in the last number of months, he still managed to keep in touch with everything that was happening.
‘The staff at Marymount found it staggering the number of visitors he had in his time there, and that, more than anything, is a tribute to the esteem in which he was held.’
John ‘Doc’ was also a keen golfer, and was president of Bandon Golf Club in 1985. The current president, John Seaman, also paid a glowing tribute. ‘He was a man in a million,’ he said. ‘At the funeral, everybody had a different story to tell and that was the thing about him, he suited everybody. It didn’t matter whose company he found himself in, he could fit in with anyone.
‘When he qualified as a vet, he never let it change him or never walked all over people.
Pre-deceased by his wife Carmel (Farrell), John ‘Doc’ is survived by his daughter Gerardine Arnopp and son Martin, as well as grandchildren Alison, Carol, Louise, Aideen, Clodagh and the late Lordan, his son-in-law Robert Arnopp and daughter-in-law Judith Phelan.