t was an emotional afternoon down at Shoreline as family and friends of the late, great Declan Lynch gathered for a special tribute.
Having been one of the driving forces behind The Greystones Community Centre Project from their first public meeting in 1996, a plaque was unveiled in honour of its chairman.
Declan Lynch also served as a garda for 39 years, retiring in April 2019, having been stationed in Bray from 1984 to 1989, when he made the move to Greystones. Whilst here, the man coached basketball in schools, getting involved in the board of management at St Laurence’s and St David’s, was on the committee to host the Croatian team for the Special Olympics, became youth coordinator at Greystones Rugby Club and volunteered with Greystones United Football Club too.
He was that kind of man.
Present for today’s unveiling to was Declan’s widow, Majella, as well as their two sons, Aaron and Emlyn.
Also present was Declan’s longtime friend and fellow GCCP member, Jackie Clarkin, who delivered the following speech…
Good afternoon and welcome. Thank you all for coming and helping to make somewhat of an occasion of this event. It is certainly good to see so many familiar faces.
I am proud to have known Declan and to have been his friend and I am proud to be here today to celebrate and honour him on this the first anniversary of his death.
I first meet Declan when John Fitzpatrick invited me to join a group that was looking into organising a replacement for the soon to be demolished church hall known locally as St. Killian`s where John and I played badminton.
Declan was part of that group and it soon became obvious that he would make a great chairman not least of all because no one else wanted the job!
We were a small group but Declan did indeed make a terrific chairman who never lost his enthusiasm for the project and made sure each member of the group had a voice and was listened to.
The Greystones Community Centre Project was formed in the mid 1990s and little did we know then that it was going to take more than 12 years before our dream would become a reality. And I genuinely believe that had it not been for Declan`s leadership and unwavering belief in our mission and its success we would not be standing here today in this magnificent centre.
So, it is only right that a sign bearing his name should be hung for all to see. Apart from his two sons, Emlyn and Aaron, of who he was immensely proud, Declan saw his part in making the dream of this centre a reality as one of his greatest achievements.
Of course, Declan was also involved in many other groups and organisations in Greystones and I know there are representatives here today from the Special Olympics and St. David’s Secondary School, both of which held a special place in his heart, who wished to pay their respects and I would like to thank them for coming.
There are actually two plaques being unveiled today, one for Declan and one for the Greystones Community Centre Project, which replaces a temporary sign, and I know if Declan where here today he would be delighted that this permanent sign has finally been hung as are all of the Trustees of the group.
Neither of these plaques would be here today were it not for the help and co-operation of Shoreline’s general manager, Eamonn Whelan, whom it has been my pleasure to work with, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him, CEO Dominic Gunshenan and Shoreline’s board of management for their support in this matter.
Well played, Mr. Lynch. You can check out the full gallery of John McGowan shots in hi-res right here.