The board of IRISH SQUASH wish to pass on its condolences to the family of the late Neil O’Sullivan. May he Rest in Peace.
Squash players in Munster and throughout Ireland have been left devastated at the sudden and untimely passing of Neil. Having complained to some of his friends on Tuesday last of not feeling well with “man flu”, no one realised that this would lead to him being hospitalised early on Saturday morning and ultimately to his passing away peacefully at around 9 pm on Sunday night.
Neil was an avid GAA fan and a former committee member who worked tirelessly for the famous Glen Rovers Hurling and Football Club. He began his squash career in the early 80’s when he joined Collins’ Barracks Squash Club with lifelong friend Mick Hackett. There, under the guidance of Derry Mc, he progressed rapidly through the ranks. He went on to form lasting friendships with many other members. Despite the best efforts of Neil and Derry, Collins’ Barracks Squash Club eventually closed and he joined Sunday’s Well and became one of its most popular members.
A non-drinker, non-smoker, he liked nothing better than a good sing song and was always the last man standing when the bar closed. Breakfast and coffee breaks with Jimmy Doc and his many business friends were a regular feature of his routine.
Travelling with Neil on many golf trips and provincial squash Opens was always a pleasure – Cork’s hurling and football games were analysed, dissected, criticised and sometimes praised with Martin, Donal and Jim, (leaving Eamonn (Keefa) bemused). With the radio off, the singing would start- led by Neil. Many a long journey back from Ulster, Leinster and Connacht was shortened considerably.
His knowledge and interest in GAA was phenomenal. He could recall at will the positions and names of all the Cork players that played in any All-Ireland Final over the last 50 Years. Whether Cork were playing or not, he never missed an All-Ireland Hurling Final.
Most of his weekends were spent attending hurling matches with his good friend Jack Lynch. It did not matter at what level – Minor, Junior or Senior – they would think nothing of attending three matches in a day. One of the highlights of his life was seeing the Glen winning the Senior County Hurling Championship of 2015 after a lapse of many years and, despite being on crutches, attended a hugely enjoyable victory celebration only a short few weeks ago.
His squash career blossomed over the past 15 years, winning an individual Irish Masters Open title and an Munster Masters Open. He became an integral member of the Munster Masters Over 45 and 55 teams that dominated Masters squash over the past 15 years. Neil represented Ireland at Over 45, 50 & 55 levels.
When not playing, he liked nothing better than spectating at all levels of squash – indeed his last weekend was spent at the Coventry Masters Open watching some of his friends compete. Due to injury, he was unable to play. His interest was such that when all his friends went for a meal at 8 pm on Saturday night, he refused to leave and stayed to watch the remaining matches.
He was an avid golfer and enjoyed immensely playing with his brothers and golfing buddies. And he was always first on the list for the annual trips with his squash friends to sunny climates.
An extremely generous man, his company, OSB Group has been a sponsor of many of Cork and Munster squash events. Shy in his benevolence, he never sought recognition for any of his good deeds.
His love of family, and especially his wife Agnes, was known to all. He was immensely proud of his four children and no matter where in the world he was, he was in daily contact with them. Those travelling with Neil would have to wait until all the phone calls were made and he had all the news from home. He had just recently become a grandfather for the first time and his grandson Cillian had quickly become his pride and joy. He will be sadly missed by his brothers and sisters, extended family and many friends. He will be a tremendous loss to his loving wife Agnes and his four children Colette, Audrey, Niall & Una, sons in law Brendan and Tom, and Niall’s partner Ann-Marie.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
As published on MunsterSquash.com