Tyrone Gaels everywhere were saddened to hear the death of Eoghan Ruadh Hurling Club Lifelong member and Club President Teddy Devlin. Teddy passed away on Tuesday 18th May.
Teddy was a legend in Tyrone GAA circles and served with distinction for his beloved Eoghan Ruadh Hurling Club. Teddy was a founding member of the club, and served as a player, referee and office bearer, holding every major office in the club. Teddy went on to serve Tyrone as a member of the Hurling Board at County level plus he also served at Provincial Hurling Board level.
His pure love of everything good about Hurling, he not only proudly promoted our national game in his beloved Dungannon but throughout, Tyrone and Ulster. In testimony to Teddy it would be right to say, the Eoghan Ruadh club would not be the club it is today without the foundations laid by Teddy Devlin, along with his brothers John, Michael, Paddy and Noel plus those other hurling Club members.
They shared a passion for all things Gaelic but that passion arguably found its greatest expression in their shared love of the game of Hurling. The early beginnings developed in the mid-1940s with the club being formally constituted in 1946. Those early generations laid the foundations and Teddy was a constant driving force over the next 75 years. His unstinting dedication to Hurling, Eoghan Ruadh and all things Gaelic never waned through good times and the bad. His abiding legacy was unstinting emphasis on the development of youth teams. As far as Teddy was concerned, it didn’t matter how well, or bad your senior team was, the club needed to continually attract and develop young hurlers. Countless scores of Eoghan Ruadh players past and present answered that call and today Eoghan Ruadh fields teams from under-6 right up to senior, indeed in 2021 the club is fielding two senior teams. After his playing days he took to administration and refereeing. Once again his enthusiasm excelled and his passion never diminished. Teddy during his lifetime of service to the GAA went onto to referee at All Ireland level as well as doing umpire at many big games in Croke Park.
His dedication to the GAA was unquestionable but he had other interests as well. Teddy was the holder of a Gold Pioneer Pin and a teetotaller all his life. Teddy was a fluent Gaelgóir and lifelong supporter and member of the Gaelic League plus An Craobh Ruadh.
Away from the Gaelic fields of Tyrone, Teddy played his part in the national struggle and he was incarcerated in the mid-1950s for his political beliefs. Despite this difficult period in his life it only made Teddy’s resolve even stronger, he was never far from lending his practical support to the struggle for Civil Rights or the plight of political prisoners.
Other sporting interests which Teddy had a love for was his passion for Greyhounds and he and his late wife Sally (née Kane) bred and raced greyhounds all over Ireland. He was well know across Ireland and all who placed a bet in Mc Quaids Bookmakers in Irish Street in Dungannon knew that Teddy’s odds were fair and never far off the Mark. Teddy worked there up until his retirement.
In 1972, Teddy organised the Tyrone hurling team to go forward and represent Tyrone at the All Ireland Féile in Tipperary and such was his vision and foresight he knew that a team going forward from Tyrone would be stronger and more capable of making an impact if at the time the two main Hurling Clubs, Eoghan Ruadh and Éire Óg Charriag Mhór would amalgamate and go forward as the Tyrone Representatives. This is what happened and on the toss of a coin it was decided that it would either be called Eoghan Ruadh or Éire Óg as the team name. Teddy lost the toss but the team went on to represent the County with pride and all of those involved went on to play a huge part in the progression of both Clubs in the years ahead. Hurling was the real winner.
Teddy has left his legacy in the County and in recent times he was proud to be present and help cut the tape at the opening of the fantastic hurling ground the home of Eoghan Ruadh on the Donaghmore Road in Dungannon.
Tyrone GAA would like to pass on their sincere condolences to all the Devlin family, especially his brothers Paddy (USA), Noel, sisters Ann and Mary, all his many nieces and nephews and their children also. Sympathy is also extended to the Eoghan Ruadh Hurling Club and all its members of the sad loss of one of your best and most loyal servants.
Teddy was an inspiration to all who knew him and his love of Gaelic games and Irish Culture sets him out as some one who lead from the front and went out of his to give of his best in all that he did.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.
The Official Opening of Eoghan Ruadh Club, Manus Mc Ginty Community Rooms and facilities in August 2019. Teddy proudly cuts the tape.