The Hurling fraternity around County Wicklow are reeling at the sad news that Kiltegan stalwart Peter “Coney” Byrne has sadly passed away today after a freak farming accident.
Peter “Coney” as he was known to his friends and teammates in Kitegan GAA club was a man who played a part in everything positive about hurling in Kiltegan and was a key part of every Kiltegan side who fielded over the course of the last 3 decades and was a man who never left his club wanting in a time of need whether it be playing, coaching, committees or volunteering he was always there for his club and community. His positive attitude was infectious and if you have ever held a hurl on a Wicklow GAA pitch while facing Kiltegan then you can be sure you encountered Peter and perhaps still have the marks to prove it as Peter was one of the fairest and tightest marking and no nonsense hurlers you could hope to ever find.
If you ever fancied yourself as a promising corner forward and lined out against Kiltegan then you will have definetly encountered Peter and that high opinion of your own hurling prowess would most definitely not be as high afterwards as Peter specialised in curtailing hotshot corner forwards who fancied themselves a bit too much as Peter was a fierce competitor and what he lacked for in size he made up for in heart. Peter has been taken from us far too soon but his legacy will forever live on as he was a man who transcended every generation with the youngest to the most senior members of the club and communities of Kiltegan and Rathdangan all looking up to Peter as he was a legend and a man who put you in good form by simply being in his presence and so many looked to him as a role model and his legacy will forever live on in those who looked up to him with such affection. He will be greatly missed across County Wicklow as so many of us who encountered him in the GAA circles will be truly devastated as he was a man who you looked forward to going up against in a hurling game or simply having a chat with before or after a game as he was a true Gael and a fierce but honest competitor.
A man who was loved by all, he was a positive force for hurling and a man who was completely integral to his club and community but above all he was an extremely proud family man and he leaves behind so many who loved him. We want to offer our sincere condolences to his partner Clodagh, his young family, his sister Kate, his friends, his clubmates, his community and all of those who were near and dear to him and our prayers and thoughts are all with them at this extremely difficult time. County Wicklow has lost one of its Greats. May He Rest In Peace.
Kiltegan GAA Club have summed up the great man he was in this beautiful poem to his memory:
A tribute to our great friend Peter:
Peter Byrne “Coney” R.I.P
Peter Byrne our friend, or Coney as we all know you,
A brilliant man, a gentle-man through and through,
In a life’s brief moment taken, there is no comprehending,
May God Bless you forever, in paradise never-ending.
Rathdangan is your village and Ballymaconey is your home,
Years of happy memories as thru the fields you roamed,
You loved the land you nurtured in the country-side,
Abounding with your family in which you took so much pride.
Kiltegan GAA was your sporting lifeblood since you were a chap,
You battled for Kiltegan and helped put it on the map,
Years of dedication, unrelenting, dogged defending,
Playing, coaching, selecting, you gave all – never ending.
Our great coach of Kiltegan Camogie for so many years gone by,
You gave your passion to us and to everything you tried,
So many memories created, goals achieved, and stories told,
A legend of a man our Coney, a friend, a confidant no matter how many years rolled.
Your life cut short so suddenly, with many lasting impressions made,
Bringing fun and banter to every home a visit you paid,
The craic was always mighty when you were about the place,
Treasured memories forever in many a family space.
A most sincere and genuine person we will never meet,
Who would drop everything for anyone and was always so upbeat,
There is pain in all our hearts, we don’t want to say goodbye,
But God has called you suddenly to heaven up on-high.
May the stars shine bright in Heaven “Coney”, where your journey now begins,
May you be wrapped in open arms where sweet angel’s voices sing,
Rest in Peace Dear Peter, as you take your heavenly seat,
We will miss you forever and ever, but through hope again we meet.
“Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam.