In common with so many other people in the wider community I was shocked to hear of the untimely passing of Greg McCrann (of Castle Street, Roscommon) last weekend. We grew up as near-neighbours and he was a year ahead of me at school, but it was through the GAA that we became friends over the years.
A superb player, Greg quickly made his mark, not alone with Roscommon Gaels, but with Roscommon as well. He was equally at home in the half-back or half-forward lines. A very talented player, he had a great turn of pace.
In 1978, Greg was first choice in the half-back line as Roscommon won the Connacht and All-Ireland U-21 titles. However, he was in desperately hard luck to have been injured in a car accident prior to the semi-final against Down, which led to him missing out on that fixture and subsequently on the final against Kerry. He would continue to have a distinguished club career with Roscommon Gaels.
Over the years, Greg’s interest in the GAA never waned. Any time we met, we always chatted about how the Gaels and Roscommon were doing, Greg taking a huge interest in the fortunes of both.
Interestingly, he wrote his name into the history books as it was Greg who scored the very first point in Dr Hyde Park in June of 1971, Roscommon Gaels and St Michael’s playing in an U-14 match which was the curtain-raiser to the first ever Connacht SFC game at the venue (between Roscommon and Sligo).
The late Greg McCrann, who was an accountant by profession, will be greatly missed in the local community, including in GAA circles. I extend my deepest sympathy to Greg’s children Andrea and Cormac, to their mother Marilyn, to his brothers Patrick, Donal and Fergal, his sister Carmel, further relatives and many friends. May he rest in peace.