It was with absolute shock that we learned yesterday of the sudden passing of Mr Raheny Shamrocks, Pat Hooper at only 68 years of age.
Pat was one of the most passionate nicest men anyone could have the pleasure to meet. He has dedicated his life to our sport and in particular his beloved Raheny Shamrocks. A brilliant teak tough competitor throughout his athletics career which culminated in his representing Ireland at the 1980 Olympic marathon in Moscow with his younger brother Dick at his side.
It was however upon his retirement from competitive athletics that his drive, passion and love for the sport of ours came to wider attention. He has been the driving force behind our ‘noisy’ neighbours as a coach, committee member, club officer, race director, volunteer, commentator (some may say that he did not need a megaphone as he decreed ‘another historic win for Raheny Shamrocks!’), you name it Pat Hooper was it and did it.
From the Clonliffe Harriers side of the fence he was the most passionate of adversaries, driving on his charges in the white and green of Raheny to what was undoubtedly one of his proudest days that first capturing of the Holy Grail, the national senior cross country in 2016, a feat which Pat and the Raheny boys then decided to really rub our noses in by repeating it again in 2017 and 2018! Pat was always a gentleman whether beating or been beaten by Clonliffe. He would always call to the Clonliffe tent win lose or draw to shake hands once the swords had been put away.
For over a decade Pat has also served Dublin Athletics as the Chairman of the Board putting in countless hours, he was also currently serving on the Board of Athletics Leinster and also on the competition committee of Athletics Ireland. He was a man who was a permanent fixture in our sport, he could be found officiating at an event almost every single day of the week (sometimes twice on the same day) be that the Dublin graded, Leinster competition, national competition, schools competition, we are eternally grateful in Clonliffe to Pat for turning up at every schools event this club organised be it the Brother Schools XC, , Leinster schools or All Ireland schools. Even more importantly he was there congratulating with equal enthusiasm the youngster who was 1st across the line or 201st across the line.
Clonliffe Harriers and Irish athletics will miss Pat enormously. Our thoughts are with Pat’s family, in particular his son Dave and brother Dick and all Pat’s extended family who proudly wear the colours of Raheny Shamrocks.
Farewell Pat Hooper our adversary and our friend.