It’s not hard to put into words what big cultchie Jimmy meant to me. We played Hurling together for Ard-Eoin Kickhams then progressed into coaching. I’ve too many funny and great memories of our playing days and of what we got up to. In life James was always like me a socialist and a lover of his people. He was a true red thinker. He was a true Gael and showed this everywhere he traveled. It’s a fair comment to say he left his mark in every club he graced.
I could talk to him about anything and everything and did that but the main talking point was always the Hurling and how to better it. People wanted to form an amalgamation team in Belfast with possibility of stamping out Hurling in our club for good. James, myself and a couple of others namely Sean Magill had been instrumental in ensuring that our club Hurling and its identity survived. We succeeded. The team will live and grow. All because of us. I for one am proud of this.
I could ring Jim and he me at all hours. Getting up for work the next day simply didnt matter when talking about the next training session and match. It must be remembered that he was at his new club Tir Na Nog in Randalstown and still put the effort in to come coach and help out with Hurling at Ard-Eoin. Because it really meant something to keep Hurling alive here to us all. I remember well playing a match with him at Falls park flicking him a pass only for him to sink it into the net against Creggan and in this Day and age he would be reveling in it. I would say many dont know that.
This is a message about Jim and how I remember him. I remember how he would advise watching cartoons to block out any stress or pressure. When pressure and illness got to me all at once he was there on the phone to talk with me about it when noone else was or wanted to know. And that was him all over. He had time for everyone and was a great listener. A complete gentleman.
I will always love and miss this man.
My kindest thoughts and much love go out to Jameses family at this shocking time when we have to say goodbye. I’d be a liar if if said I want to say goodbye because I don’t. But this is the hand we have been dealt. We must let go. We must always remember and love our friend and comrade in sport and life the legend James McVeigh.
Till next we meet Jimmy. Sleep tight and enjoy the cartoons my friend. Love yee big man.
ARD-EOIN ABÚ 🍻💔🖤🤍🖤🤍🖤🤍🖤💔🍻