Jim Griffin, Pilmore, Youghal 1922-2018
One of the rural sections of Youghal Parish has, as its hub, the village of Gortroe, comprising St. Ita’s Church, Clonpriest N.S. and Gortroe Community Hall. Some short distance away we find Clonpriest Cemetery, Redbarn Beach, Pilmore Strand and its nearby St Ita’s G.AA Grounds. Over the last three quarters of a century, one man’s participation in all activities associated with the above, has been a perfect example of true community involvement.
Jim Griffin was born in August 1922 at Pilmore and spent all his life there. He was a much respected son, brother, husband, father, neighbour and friend. His principal work was farming but his skill at woodwork, construction and machinery maintenance was phenomenal. While Jim’s hobbies included G.A.A., as a player, mentor, administrator and groundsman, fishing and shooting, his first love was family and after that came his interest in people of all ages and community development. He served on the Gortroe Hall Committee for close on thirty years, giving many days and nights as a voluntary worker during reconstruction and later as an organiser of the weekly 45 Drive.
In the 80’s, Jim was Prop and Set Manager for the Gortroe Tops of Communities Group and took great pride in being County Winners in 1983. Another of Jim’s many talents was his ability to coach Set Dance Troupes for Scór na bPáistí, Scór na nÓg and Adult Scór –his reputation in this field was well known throughout County Cork and further; his Set Dancing achievements earned him ‘Sportstar Of The Week’ in the Imokilly People – a very mature Sportstar !!!
In July 1998, a surprise Tribute Night for Jim was organised to mark his immense and varied contribution to the sporting, cultural and community life of his area. Among the guests were all his family, including his brother John from Chicago, G.A.A Celebrities, Scór Officials and a host of well-wishers. Fortunately the event has been recorded and will serve as a memento of a life well lived.
What might we learn from Jim’s life and how he lived it? We cannot but try to emulate his devotion to Betty and their family, his willingness to help a neighbour or friend, his availability to participate in any worthwhile community project and his contentment by the fireside in Pilmore, equipped with a good stock of reading material.
When asked to do some community chore Jim’s usual reply would be “We’ll give under that when I’m stowed at home”. Jim has now completed the stowing and rests, in an elevated position, just inside the gateway at Clonpriest Cemetery, from where he observes the ebb and flow of the Womanagh, the life processes at Pilmore and the sports activities at St. Ita’s Grounds. He richly deserves this tranquil repose.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam