LAST Wednesday was a special occasion in Adrigole as Beara Community School took on Coláiste an Phiarsaigh in the second round of the Munster Colleges U15 D football championship.
The schools took the opportunity of the meeting to celebrate the life of a man held dear in both communities, the late John ‘Lock’ O’Sullivan of Adrigole.
O’Sullivan attended Beara Community School from 1989 to 1994 and his exploits while there live on to this day. He won county and Munster titles in 1992 in 1994 and in 1994 he was on the team that won the All-Ireland ‘A’ vocational schools’ title. He went on to win county U21 titles with Beara in 1996 and 1997 and on the eve of his death in 2002 he was preparing to play in the junior county football final with Adrigole.
By that stage John Lock was working as a teacher in Coláiste an Phiarsaigh in Glanmire and it was there that he met with Micheal Ó Tuama who is now principal of the gaelcholáiste. O’Sullivan taught PE and Geography, but he threw his energy into every facet of the school in his time there.
He took teams in both hurling and football for boys and girls and from that he garnered the respect and affection of his students and colleagues. He was jovial, light-hearted, loyal and had strong values.
When his two schools came together last Wednesday in Adrigole, it was the perfect opportunity to remember him. After the game Ó Tuama spoke warmly of his old colleague before Coláiste an Phiarsaigh captain, Riain Ó Buachalla, presented a Coláiste jersey to Adrigole chairman, Kevin Greene.
O’Sullivan’s mother, Mary, and aunt Margaret were also in attendance, as were his former team-mates Seán B O’Sullivan and Daniel Healy along with Adrigole’s Susan O’Sullivan, Eddie Jer O’Sullivan and Joe Blake.
As for the game itself, it was one that John Lock would have enjoyed. He would have been particularly pleased by the talents of Beara’s Niall O’Shea and Colaiste’s Billy Ó Mathúna. There was only a point between the sides with ten minutes to go before late goals from Ó Mathúna and Darragh Mac Suibhne secured the Glanmire school a 9-13 to 8-10 victory.
What stood out about the game was the spirit in which it was played and that in itself was the ultimate testament to the man who was being remembered.