THE Cork and Irish basketball fraternity has lost another stalwart with the news that Leo O’Donoghue passed away after a long battle with illness.
Leo was a staunch member of the Neptune Basketball Club and of the O'Donoghue family who resided in Barry’s Place Cathedral Road Gurranabraher.
His brother Donal who predeceased him was involved in the very early stages of the basketball club that were associated initially with the Slua Muiri who were the Naval Service Reserves but were soon to become a civilian organised club.
Leo played with the Glen Rovers during his formative years but because of his family involvement with Neptune, basketball eventually took precedent as his sporting pastime.
He played on many successful Neptune teams that won Cork County League and Championships.
During those years of basketball in Cork teams like Tigers, Army Band, 44th, and the FCA were to the forefront of the game in Cork along with Neptune.
The Blackpool club were probably the best organised and hence their survival in the history of Cork and Irish basketball Neptune will be to the forefront and Leo played no small part in establishing the Northside club as a leading light in the game.
O’Donoghue won many championships with his club alongside his brother Jim with Donal as a prominent officer guiding them to success.
He was on the Cork team that won the Senior Inter County All Ireland in 1969.
In his civilian life he worked at Barry's Timber Merchants of Water Street where he developed his wood turning skills, those same skills he passed on to many enthusiasts of the profession giving courses and demonstrations on the intricate art of woodturning and carving.
He transferred to Athy in the seventies and remained there until he again gave service to Neptune when he took up the position of stadium manager in 1985.
After a number of years in that position that helped to establish the stadium on a proper footing he took up a position with the Cork City Council until his retirement.
During these years after returning to Leeside Leo again was an active member of the Neptune Club holding various club positions including a spell as Chairperson.
He remained committed to the 'cause' so to speak but also had a keen interest in beekeeping at his home in Little Island so one could say he could turn his hand to many and varied challenges and endeavoured to conquer them that was part of who he was.