Dr Ronan O’Callaghan RIP

Ronan,

You can imagine my shock when Paul Doolan announced a minutes handclap
in your honour at Rovers v Shelbourne at Tallaght on Friday night and
in the process announced your death last friday. I never knew you had
died and I am very upset.

You and I go back to Vincents in the 1970s and I remember holding your
bleep when you took a short break to refresh the spirits at Hardwick
Street in 1975. You were a good doctor back then and were terrific
with kids in the Casualty. Then with Rovers, Shels, the FAI and others
in the football family, I met you often. For years I got phone-calls
from you to do the Shels game and they would look after me! Last
April, you phoned me to tell me you were quitting because you found it
physically taxing to rush across the pitch to an injury. You arranged
with Joe McKeever, grandson of Portadown McKeever – a guy who operated
like my grandfather in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the decade
up to 1922 – to cover you with Shels. Joe told me that he liked you
because you were a Bohemian type of character and I agreed. I enjoyed
many hours shooting the breeze with you. Stories of yourself and Clem
Leech and Crowlocks and stuff that stays on tour – great!

I sent you phone a text tonight –

I am very upset Rock

I am sorry about the Elysian Fields – the only appropriate final
resting place for a heroic and interesting man. Premature Rock
Premature.

Smoking Rock – Bloody smokes.

To you family , I will send them a letter to apologize for missing the funeral.

Slan a chara,

Bill