Joe Millea, whose sudden passing on Thursday 30th January 2020 was a much loved and respected member of our parish. A man of great qualities, he endeared himself to all whose path he crossed in his 78 years.
A devoted family man, his wife Helen, daughters Tracy and Sinead, sons Sean and Niall were paramount to everything he did. As the family extended he welcomed them into the fold with open arms. He loved the company of his grandchildren.
He will be sadly missed by his many great neighbours and friends throughout the parish and county. He was an outstanding hurler who gave great service to Graigue Ballycallan GAA Club winning a Northern Junior title in 1970 and a Junior Football title in 1960.His exploits with the club saw him selected onto the Kilkenny Senior Hurling team in 1969. Leinster and All-Ireland medals came to the parish after Joe scored a vital goal for Kilkenny in their victory over Cork, 2-16 to 2-9. He added an Oireachtas medal that year when Cork were again beaten in the final. 1971 saw Joe win a Railway Cup medal when he lined out at right full forward on the Leinster team that defeated Munster. His team mates in the forwards included Tony Doran, Eddie Keher, Pat Delaney, and Mick Bermingham.
When Joe’s playing days came to an end he became a mentor and hard working committee member ensuring the youth of our parish were give the best opportunities for success on the field of play. Joe took immense pride from the achievements of Tracy, Sinead, Sean and Niall in club and county jerseys. His grandchildren have inherited Joe’s love of Gaelic Games.
Joe built a very successful business in land reclaimation over the years. Many GAA grounds and projects in the county and beyond are testament to his expertise. His attention to detail resulted in our own club grounds in Kilmanagh being one of the finest in Ireland.
As the parish, the club and the county come together to say farewell to Joe this weekend he leaves behind many fine legacies. Perhaps the finest of these, he was a lovely man who strove to do good for everybody.
Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.