We thank Brian Lynch for alerting us to a magnificent tribute on Facebook which his brother, Patrick who lives in Indiana, USA, has paid to the late Jerry Corkery, Ballydaly Upper. Here we share the heartfelt tribute:
“Jerry Corkery passed earlier this week and it felt like a large part of my earliest memories had also left.
He was my Dad’s best friend, and living only two fields away, a regular visitor to our home.
Always immaculately dressed, he would pop in to say a quick ‘hello’ or engage in some intellectual sparring with my dad on politics or some current affair.
Jerry was my Godfather, and a frequent contributor on birthdays, communion, confirmation, and other big events. He helped fund my ‘communion’ bike (a high nelly from Jerry Horgan), and my ‘confirmation bike’ (10 speed Raleigh Medale). For the annual Millstreet Horse Show, he found a way to get me a few pound notes to ‘get some sweets’ as the show was a high-dollar event for my young wallet.
Of course Jerry loved horses, so this was a big event for him too.
Some of my earliest and warmest memories are traveling to Cork or Killarney for a football match, seemingly always between Cork and Kerry. Traveling in a green Land Cruiser with bench seats in the back, Andrew and I would be on one side, John and Thomas on the other, all of us draped in Cork red and white. Jerry and my Dad would occupy the front seats, happily chatting the drive away.
Eurovision is another strong memory, a lot of Lynch kids with a lot of Corkery kids in the living room, drinking tea and watching Johnny Logan make history with ‘What’s Another Year?’
I was often to be found at the Corkery house, hanging around with John, annoying Willie O’ Sullivan, borrowing tools, occasionally a tractor, (and on one memorable occasion with my dad, we borrowed a bull). Despite my too-frequent presence, I only ever saw Jerry angry once: given I had just hit his wall backwards whilst practicing my rally driving in an old Mk2 Escort, I had surely earned it.
For the past 30 years or so I have been an infrequent visitor to Ballydaly, but would see Jerry from time to time. I expect he must have missed my dad, and one reflects on them together again, probably discussing politics.
I last saw Jerry in February, and though the years were evident, he was still Jerry Corkery. On my wall, here in Indiana, I have a framed photo of 1957 Ballydaly Duhallow Championship team, and along with other warriors of the time It is easy to identify Jerry and my dad, both in their prime. Sadly, many of their fellow players have also passed.
On social media, as the sad news broke, ‘Gentleman’ was a consistent comment. Jerry was indeed a gentleman, and a kind man. I was desperately sorry to hear of his passing, and know he will be missed by Mary, his family and grandkids.
RIP, Jerry. You were a big part of our lives.”