It is with great shock and sadness that Westport United learned of the passing of Sean Joyce, High Street, Westport. Predeceased by his wife Ann. Sean will be sadly missed by his loving sons Kevin, Mark & John, daughters-in-law Rachel, Erin and Rachel, grandchildren Fiadh, Conor, Ruairí, Síomha and Keelan, brother Patrick, sisters Carmel and Margaret, aunt Breege and her husband Jim, brother-in-law John, sister-in-law Maura, relatives, neighbours and many friends.
Popularly known as 'Kipper' around the town, a name that passed through the generations of the Joyce family, Sean was a name associated with Westport United over many years, as were members of his family before and present.
Sean had a spell playing for Westport United in the 1970's, but his greater talents were off the pitch as opposed to be on the pitch, having served on several committees and a very loyal and dedicated supporter of the club.
By profession, Sean was an electrician and his skills came to valuable use with the club with the installation of floodlights at The Point back in the 1980s, which allowed Westport United teams acclimatise to the tough elements of the winter nights as they honed their skills to perfection on match days. This allowed Westport United to prepare for success in Mayo Leagues and Cups, Connaught Cups and the FAI Junior Cup. In more recent times, Sean was responsible for the installation of outdoor lighting at United Park and, more importantly, connected the defibrillator outside United Park to the mains. His talents as an electrician was appreciated by all who rendered his services.
As a committee member, Sean was never found wanting at the table during a meeting or if there were tasks to be done, Sean would ably volunteer and complete the tasks as set out. Sean was never afraid to put his hand in his pocket whenever he was asked to donate to any Westport United fundraising initiatives and he was very keen to sponsor various club enterprises, from club jerseys to a get together for the Football For All Programme. Everyone in the club was so grateful and thankful for Sean's benevolence over the years.
As a supporter, Sean would be a regular spectator at the Sports Park, The Point and United Park and would always get right behind the team. He was so passionate on the sidelines that if he felt aggrieved by a controversial red card, booking, offside, free kick or penalty, he would quickly let the referee know what he thought. Straight to the point and no grey areas, many a referee was on the end of a tongue lashing, whether it was warranted or not but Sean would put the team first and had the best interests at heart for all the players.
For the big games in the Connaught Cup or the FAI Junior Cup when the team travelled, Sean was always one of the first names to be on the list for the supporters bus and a hotel and Sean enjoyed every trip with many of his friends, quite a few have gone to rest in recent years and Sean is now reunited with them in the Heavenly Branch of the Westport United Supporters Club. Many nights on the trips around the country, Sean with other supporters would enjoy a couple of pints, the craic with the lads and ladies and a good sing song; simple, modest but enjoyable and when it came to match day, all the energy was willing Westport United to victory.
Sean bore three sons; Kevin, Mark and John and all three played for Westport United at different levels and Sean's support for his sons in the red and black were unconditional and equal and he was proud every time they put on the Red and Black jersey. Sean's eldest son, Kevin was an FAI Junior Cup winner in 2005 and a Connaught Cup winner in 2012. Like all of us, Sean's greatest day was undoubtedly June 19th 2005 when Westport United won the FAI Junior Cup, but special pride takes place in Sean's heart as his son, Kevin captained Westport United to Connaught Cup success on May 13th 2012 and that was a very proud and special family day.
There were a range of tributes from club members. Club Chairman, Stephen Duffy said that Sean was a true Westport United legend and a great character, and he will be sadly missed. Other tributes included 'what a truly lovely man', 'a beautiful human being' and 'an absolute gentleman. A great clubman and a great man who will be sorely missed.' Indeed Sean was a character who was kind and generous and his contribution to Westport United over many years has made the club much the richer for it.
May his gentle soul rest in peace
Sean will be reposing in Navin's Funeral Home, Westport (F28 XR61) on Thursday, May 11th, from 5pm with removal at 7pm to St. Mary's Church, Westport. Funeral Mass on Friday, May 12th, at 12.30pm with burial afterwards in Aughaval Cemetery. Mass will be live streamed on www.churchtv.ie/westport.
House private please
Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to Croí c/o Navin Funeral Directors. Anyone wishing to leave a message of sympathy for the family can do so by posting a comment on our Facebook page.
As a mark of respect of the passing of Sean Joyce, the Elvery Sports Super League match between Westport United and Castlebar Celtic on Thursday evening has been postponed.