PAT Shine, who died over the weekend, will always be remembered as one of the men who helped to keep Cork City alive.
A member of the board of Foras, the supporters’ trust which owns the club, Shine was also one of the founder members of the organisation more than a decade ago when a group of supporters came together to ensure that there would be a failsafe in the event of turbulent times.
John O’Sullivan, who was chairman when a Foras-backed club took to the field in the first division for the first time in 2010, cannot overstate the role Pat played.
“There might not be a Cork City FC without Pat Shine,” he says, “there certainly would not be a FORAS.
“When the concept of a supporters' trust was first touted in 2006, it was Pat who had the idea, gathered the info, energised us and kept us focused before we ever knew how important FORAS would become.
“In 2006, we thought we might give occasional support to [then-chairman] Brian Lennox, maybe help buy or build a training complex.
“When Arkaga came into the club, with their promise of riches, it would have been easy to drop the trust and accept that Cork City supporters would never be more than customers. Pat was one of the main reasons Foras came to exist in a time when most thought it would never be needed.”
Pat was exactly the kind of person Foras needed.
“I was lucky enough to meet Pat at Cork City matches over a couple of decades and then serve on the board of Foras with him for four years,” O’Sullivan says.
“I will remember his commitment, his passion, integrity, and sense of humour that inspired his fellow board members, kept us honest and focused on what was important and lightened the mood with small moments that turned stress into smiles.
“His importance to Cork City FC cannot be overstated, nor will it ever be forgotten.”
Pat’s cremation service is at 4pm at the Island Crematorium, Ringaskiddy on Tuesday, with all welcome. Donations in lieu of flowers to the Irish Cancer Society.