St. Colmcilles GAA Club, Pairc Ui Rís, Piltown, Bettystown, Co Meath 0877441731

On Tuesday 18th February Shane McMahon, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan passed away despite fighting Motor Neurone Disease for over 2 years. Shane leaves behind his wife Roslyn and two beautiful children in Clarke and Libby plus his Mam, Dad, Brother, in-laws and countless friends spread across the globe.

The link to St Colmcilles might seem tenuous but it’s not, in fact it couldn’t be more poignant. In late 2017, Shane was diagnosed with this most dreadful disease and word came through to his old friend and now Cilles-Man, Oisin Gartlan. You might know Oisin from being carried off two minutes into his Championship debut for the Junior D’s, still hilarious!

When Oisin heard of Shane’s plight he decided to resurrect an old tradition in this wonderful community, the annual Christmas Swim! A small committee came together and hastily arranged a swim which took place at approximately 10am on 25th December 2017. 30 brave souls made up of St Colmcilles members and some of Shane’s friends took to the Irish sea to raise some funds. A modest sum was raised with the hope that it might go some way to easing a particularly devastating burden on the McMahon family in Carrickmacross. A hot drink followed the icy dip and we toasted a man we never knew to wish him well.

Since this fundraiser took place the Christmas Swim has become something else. It has morphed from a hastily organised few lads on the beach to several hundred on the same beach raising money for charities close to the clubs heart. Thousands have been raised for charities such as SOSAD and for programs like the ‘Gaelic for All’ project for children with complex needs in our community. Since Shane’s diagnosis a link has formed too whereby a number of Carrick Emmets underage teams have travelled to Piltown to participate in annual blitz events, let’s keep that tradition going!

We send Shane’s family and friends our deepest sympathies in these very difficult times. To our fellow Gaels at Carrick Emmets and Carrick Rovers AFC we know how this can impact a club and are very sorry for your loss also. While we are sure Shane’s legacy is significant you should know that people’s lives have been improved immeasurably in this area thanks to Shane. In December 2019, just two years after the 30 brave souls hit the water for Shane, over 400 people did the same and that figure will grow again this year!

Ar dheis Dé do raibh a anam