Billy Doolan East Kerry GAA Hall of Fame Award Winner 2020

Its 58 years since a young Billy Doolan played his first game for Kilcummin’s senior team. It’s fair to say and evident to anyone that knows him that he still retains the love and enthusiasm for a club that he believes epitomises all that is good in his native parish. A senior player from 1962 to 1981 with Kilcummin he won a senior County Championship medal with East Kerry in 1965. However, winning an O’Donoghue Cup medal in 1973 with his club is closest to his heart. During that period he doubled as Club Secretary between 1963 and 1965 and Club Chairman in 1972 and 1973. This was already showing evidence of his desire to improve the workings and structure of the club for current players and future generations.

After his football days were over he turned his energies to developing a fledgling Juvenile organisation that was to reap great benefits in later years. Between 1981 and 1985 he was a major driving force in the development of facilities, upgrading the senior pitch, acquiring a Juvenile field along with building dressing rooms and a sports hall. Indeed, the development and maintenance of playing facilities became very much a passion for Billy and remains so to this day believing that playable pitches are a club’s greatest asset.

This is particularly true in Kilcummin with its ever-increasing population and membership. Billy even only last year oversaw the completion of further playing surfaces to address this necessity. Billy has been an invaluable member of the clubs executive until two years ago where his guidance and expertise was invaluable and welcomed.  He served as Club PRO for a period of 10 years up to 2013, his aim being to present his club and the GAA in general in a positive light to the greater community.

In 2010 Kilcummin GAA club’s centenary year, the club produced a history of the previous 100 years. It was a feat that was only made possible by the vast collection of photos and material that Billy had collected and retained an exercise which he continues to do. Between 1998 and 2010 Billy was the event controller with Fitzgerald Stadium being responsible for the smooth running of Munster Council, Kerry and East Kerry matches and events, Munster championship games and Kerry homecomings.

Billy has huge regard for the GAA as an organisation and takes a very keen interest in all its aspects including Scór, Ladies Football and Hurling as well as association policy. This year he attended his 47th consecutive County Convention. He lists amongst his proudest moments Kilcummin’s All Ireland success in the Intermediate Club Final last year, Sean Kelly’s election to Uachtarán Cumann Luthchleas Gaeil and winning his O’Donoghue Cup medal in 1973.


However he describes the greatest satisfaction for him, throughout it all, just having ‘been part of it all’ and the numerous friends he has made along the way.

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