It was with great sadness that the Kerry branch of the ISRS learned of the death of our esteemed former colleague Val Delaney, coming so soon after the passing of another former member Joe Flynn, the loss is even more compounded.
As a player and later as a match official Val was a great servant to soccer in the county. If there was a hall of fame for referee’s in the county he would be up there with the likes of John Barrett, John O’ Sullivan, Brian McCarthy, Dinny Hayes and more.
Val played with the famed Callinafercy, playing out of Johnson’s field on the Killorglin to Killarney road (the dirtiest pitch in Kerry at the time). Before taking up the whistle, this writer had the unique experience of playing against him, beeing reffed by him and refereeing with him.
Val held a number of positions in the society, Chairman and Secretary and was always a great help to new referee’s starting out with his advice and encouragement and support when we got things wrong, well not right shall I say as referee’s are never wrong.
His principaled stand against the regionalisation of referee’s seminars and he campaigned vigoursly against it led to his resignation from the branch in protest and his stand was vindicated two years later when the FAI returned the seminars to Kerry, a move Val would have welcomed.
His passing now, as his resignation then, is to be mourned. To his family and his large circle of friends as seen at his funeral we send our condolescence. Val was remembered of Friday April 22nd and a minutes silence was observed in his honour, quite fittingly it was held at our annual seminar, the one Val fought so hard to retain all those years ago.
May he rest in peace.
Willie O’ Gorman Kerry ISRS member.
Val Delaney (Centre) officiating with his assistants John O’ Sullivan (left) and Francie Roche (right)