Tributes paid to Johnny ‘Batt’ Cronin

By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid to the much loved St Brendan’s College caretaker Johnny ‘Bat’ Cronin who passed away on Monday.

He was also a star wing back and played with Spa GAA during its glory days of the early 1970s.

Johnny won seven O’Donoghue Cup medals with Spa as well as a county intermediate medal in 1974 and was member of the East Kerry divisional side that won the first  All-Ireland Club Championship in 1971.

Current mayor of Killarney Michael Gleeson was a  Spa GAA teammate  of Johnny’s through the 1960s and 1970s.

“We were great friends and he was a loyal friend to many people,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “He was an outstanding Spa club man. Johnny was revered in the club and he will be irreplaceable to his family and wider Spa community.”

Johnny ,who was originally from the  Tiernaboul area but lived in Coolcorcoran, was laid to rest on Thursday in Aghadoe Cemetery, following his funeral mass in St Mary’s Cathedral.\

His working life took him from Pretty Polly, to the Torc Hotel and finally to St Brendan’s college. He was acknowledged as an outstanding tradesman was the go-to-man when homes or business needed emergency repairs.

“Such was his loyalty, that even during his illness made sure he cut the grass on the Sem playing fields and did so up to a couple of weeks ago,” added Mayor Gleeson.  “He was a gifted all round trades person and had a great sense of fun, enjoyment and mimicry.”

Spa GAA club presented him witha lifetime achievement award four years ago – the highest honour possible within the club.

Spa GAA formed a guard of honour at the funeral and funeral gifts were offered by Mayor Gleeson and his life-long friend Brian Fenton, father of the current Dublin All Ireland winner of the same name.

He is survived by his wife Margaret and sons Donagh, Colm, Eoin, Cormac.