Written by Tom O’Donoghue for the Ballymacelligott Newsletter
Ballymac has produced many famous people but few, if any, could equal Ted O’Keeffe. His lifelong association with the G.A.A. has made him a household name throughout the county. His contribution to the association, both on and off the field, is immeasurable. Greatness and humility are inseparable allies, the excess of either can help reduce the individual to ineptitude, but the man of whom I write is certainly not inept. Ted never sought the glorification of the self rather does he expand his energies for the welfare of all.
For many years, Ted is the true leader of Ballymac G.A.A.. He will be remembered for many a year as a player, officer and moreover as a dynamic worker. The success of the club over the past number of years can be attributed to him. He has the philosophy that, even clubs like Ballymac could achieve great things if we all put our shoulders to the wheel in a combined effort. Ted has earned the respect and esteem of all who have been privileged to know him. This brochure would not be complete if it failed to include a man who has contributed so much to the G.A.A. in Ballymac.
Born in 1936 into a sporting family background, (indeed his uncle, John O’Neill, was a member of the first Ballymac team in 1891 to bring home the County Championship). Having received his early education at Nohoval National School, where he graduated with a degree in common sense. He quickly attracted the interest of the local selectors playing many great games in the Ballymac jersey. His talents were soon put to use by the Castleisland district selectors, to whom he gave great service unluckily missing out through injury in 1952 when the district team won the County Minor Championship
At the early age of 19, Ted made his senior debut at full forward v Currow in Castleisland. It soon became evident that our hero was better at stopping than scoring, hence his transfer to defence where he gave fourteen years service at corner and full back and finally goalkeeper, winning six parish league medals with Gortatlea and four district league medals with Ballymac. During this period, Ted, with the late Jerry McEllistrim, emerged to organise the local sports in Jimmy’s field, which was then used as the G.A.A. grounds. While still a player, Ted served as Joint Treasurer and Chairman in the sixties and in later years turned his attention to under age players, his motto has always been Mol an Oige agus tiochaidh said.. He returned to preside over the present success of the club and who would imagine such success, two county under 12, two county under 14, District leagues at under 12, 14, 16 and minor and the long awaited County Novice championship, AII-Ireland championship in Score and many more to come. Yes indeed a memorable achievement. Football in the parish will never die if it can produce people with the dedication and loyalty to their parish of Ted. I have never known a person with more love for their parish. It is my pleasure to have served as a member of his team.
Ted O’Keeffe, gentleman, sportsman, -“This is Your Life”!
Written by Michael Sweeney in the secretaries report for the 1994 AGM
Since his acquisition of the chair in 1983 many positive and progressive developments took place in the club. The following are some of the developments:
(i) The wall at the road and the car park beside the dressing room were developed.
(ii) The stand and gym.
(iii) Training lights.
(iv) The field was ploughed levelled and reseeded.
(v) Referees room and public toilets.
The senior team gained promotion and won the Novice Championship during this period. Ted had been actively involved in this success. He was always willing to lend a hand with under-age teams and always available to transport juveniles. He was always willing to help the club in any way including financially.