Eamonn Birchall R.I.P.
As a mark of respect to our late President Eamonn Birchall, the PPUI Office will be closed on Tuesday 26th June.
The PPUI today mourn the loss of our former President and Patron Eamonn Birchall we send our sincere sympathies to all of his family.
Reposing at Jennings Funeral Home, Oscar Traynor Road, Kilmore, D17, on Monday, June 25th, from 2.30pm to 5.00pm, will removal thereafter to St Monica's Parish Church, Edenmore Crescent, Edenmore, Dublin 5, for Funeral Prayers at 5.30pm. Funeral Mass on Tuesday, June 26th, at 10am followed by burial in Balgriffin Cemetery, Carr's Lane, Balgriffin, Dublin17. Family flowers only, please, with donations, if desired, to St Francis Hospice Raheny.
The following is a tribute written by fellow Shandon member and former PPUI PRO John Manning.
A native of St. Mobhi Road in Dublin's Glasnevin (with Kildare connections), Eamonn Birchall joined Shandon Pitch and Putt club as a juvenile in 1955. In 1958, he was elected Shandon delegate to Dublin County Board and also served on Shandon club committee. Eamonn remained involved in our sport ever since, serving as a very fine administrator in a huge range of capacities. His involvement spanned the entire history of the Union as he was a Leinster Council delegate to the inaugural meeting of the PPUI in 1961.
Eamonn held numerous administrative posts down those decades including Treasurer at county (Dublin), provincial (Leinster) and national level, Vice President and President of Leinster and National and Vice Chairman and Chairman of Dublin County Board. Following the change in the Constitution which permitted it, Eamonn was the first PPUI President to serve a three year term (1977-79) of Office (Patrick A. Murphy had earlier served two consecutive two year terms). Eamonn Birchall returned as P.P.U.I. President in 2013 and was one of five two- time PPUI Presidents (along with Mervyn Cooney, P.A. Murphy, Liam Houlihan and Myles McMorrow). Eamonn was enmeshed with the P.P.U.I. NEC at various times across six decades between the 1960s and 2016.
Eamonn was a Factory Manager in the food processing industry with Batchelor's. After his retirement from Batchelor's, he became Office Administrator with the PPUI in 1990. Every day for seventeen years, he made his way across town from his home on Glenfarne Road on Dublin's North side to the House of Sport and later to Sport HQ to tend to the needs of the PPUI's registered players. This he did with his unparalleled knowledge of the game and his unique brand of humour. He always enjoyed talking to club secretaries and helping to solve any problems they might have. Meeting deadlines, getting draws made and circulated and maintaining records were always sources of immense satisfaction to him. He built up a huge camaraderie with the other sport administrators at Sport HQ.
Eamonn was a generous sponsor of championships including the Leinster Juvenile Strokeplay and Dublin Ladies Strokeplay. Hugely interested in Pitch and Putt’s future, Eamonn was deeply immersed in all of the PPUI’s Strategic Plans. For years, Eamonn Birchall masterminded logistical triumphs during National Convention weekends including some hugely enjoyable Annual Dinners, at which Eamonn would regularly win the raffle! An acknowledged PPUI Rules expert, Eamonn also contributed richly to production of the FIPPA international rulebook.
He was President of his beloved Shandon for many years and rightly honoured as an Honorary Member in recognition of his services to the Phibsboro club. Eamonn was a top-class player. He was a member of Shandon Dublin League winning teams, won many Shandon club championships and contested a number of national championships in the 1960’s. Eamonn was one of the first to embrace international Pitch and Putt development and served as Team Manager to some of the Irish teams of the early 1980s (that played England). He and the late Kevin Lambert were instrumental in developing the contact with the English initially. Eamonn journeyed Down Under with the Irish team that played Australia in 1996.
Universally liked throughout the game, he was known to players and administrators throughout the land (and in recent years across Europe), despite the fact that he has never driven a car in his life! An avid student of the sport, Eamon’s lack of his own transport never prevented his appearance at championships and functions the length and breadth of the country!
Coach to countless players down the years, responsible for introducing many newcomers to the game, advocate of aspiring administrators, a keen selector and guru to Pitch & Putt teams, his avuncular style earned the sobriquet "Uncle Eamonn". One remembers his feeling of sheer delight as mentor and selector to the Dublin Juvenile team at Old County in 2005 when Eamonn and his colleagues brought Dublin from finishing last in the 2003 championship to regaining the National Inter-County title (for the first time in twelve years).
Eamonn entered the PPUI Hall of Fame in 1994, honoured for his unparalleled service to our sport. His election as Patron of the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland at 1998 Convention in Longford was a fitting reward for a then half century involvement in Pitch and Putt. He had an unquenchable zest and enthusiasm for his chosen sport and in the intervening 20 years he continued to be counsellor, confidant and confessor to many.
Ní bheidh a leithéidí arís ann.
We extend deepest condolences to Eamonn’s wife Jo and to his extended family.
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