Roscrea Credit Union & Chamber Of Commerce Honours Jo Jo Cunningham
“Tipperary’s Greatest GAA Supporter” was how Brian King the Manager of Roscrea Credit Union and The Secretary Of Roscrea Chamber Of Commerce described Roscrea stalwart Jo Jo Cunningham at a most uplifting event in the premises of Roscrea Credit Union on Friday morning last.
A most memorable event took place in Roscrea Credit Union on Friday morning last to honour Jo Jo Cunningham who has played such a pivotal role over the years in having Roscrea looking so well in the build up to All-Ireland Hurling Final Day. Presentations were made on the day by Roscrea Credit Union and Roscrea Chamber Of Commerce. Pictured are just some of the many friends, family and well wishers that gathered last Friday morning to say thanks to Jo Jo.
Back Row L/R:
Patsy King (General Manager St Cronan’s Services), Ger Carroll (St Cronan’s Services), Luke Ryan, Martin Ryan, Rita Moloughney (St Cronan’s Services), Catherine Ryan, Sean Hogan (Chairman Of Roscrea Credit Union), Barney Loughnane, Mary Cunningham, Brendan Wright (Former Roscrea Credit Union Secretary/Treasurer), Eoin Shanahan (Roscrea Credit Union) and Deirdre Hogan (RCU & Representing Jo Jo’s great friend Tess Moloney)
Front Row L/R:
Pj Quinlan, (St Cronan’s Services) Charlene Donnelly, (St Cronan’s Services) Seamus Talbot (St Cronan’s Services) Patrick Fogarty (St Cronan’s Services) Jo Jo Cunningham (Tipperary’s Greatest Gaa Supporter) and Brian King (Manager Of Roscrea Credit Union & Secretary Of Roscrea Chamber Of Commerce)
The event was organised by Roscrea Credit Union and Roscrea Chamber Of Commerce as a very special surprise for Jo Jo Cunningham in recognition of all the great voluntary service she has given to Roscrea, the Chamber and indeed lots of other organisations in the town over the years.
Jo Jo Cunningham and family who were not yet aware of the special surprise in store for Jo Jo at the Credit Union on Friday last.
Brian King hosted the event and recalled some great stories involving Jo Jo. Brian spoke of the All-Ireland win against Galway in 2001 which was followed two days later by the tragedy of 9/11. Brian spoke of Tipperary’s great win in Munster in 2008 and how Jo Jo had swung into action before the semi-final against Waterford that year to make plans to have Roscrea looking the very best for the final. Brian said that thousands of Tipperary fans got a harsh lesson that year when on a miserable weekend that included the death of the legendary Ronnie Drew, Tipp lost, in a classic example of never counting your chickens until the eggs have hatched!
Two great admirers of Jo Jo Cunningham and two great community activists in their own right, Sean Hogan (Chairman Of Roscrea Credit Union) and Barney loughnane.
Brian said that Tipperary and Jo Jo Cunningham were back with a vengeance in 2009. Once Tipp had accounted for Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-final Brian said that Jo Jo commenced her work of organising bunting and flags for the town in earnest and by the end of the first week, Roscrea was the envy of the county. Brian recalled Tipp Fm encouraging other towns to follow Roscrea’s lead and all this he said was due to the great work of a number of volunteers who were so brilliantly lead by Jo Jo. Brian then recalled a great story of Jo Jo shoving Benny Dunne up a ladder on Castle Street in Roscrea to hang the last of the bunting in the town three days before the All-Ireland final which Tipp was unlucky to lose that year. The story brought plenty of laughs and good memories for those who were there at the time.
Pj Quinlan, (St Cronan’s Services) Charlene Donnelly, (St Cronan’s Services) Seamus Talbot (St Cronan’s Services) Patrick Fogarty (St Cronan’s Services) and Rita Moloughney enjoying a special morning in Roscrea Credit Union to thank Jo Jo Cunningham for all her community work over the years.
Brian king then told the story of 2010 to the large attendance gathered to say thanks to Jo Jo which included family, friends, members of the credit union, great supporters from St Cronan’s Services, the Dean Maxell etc. Brian said that if Roscrea had looked good in the build-up to the 2009 final it looked magnificent in the build up to the 2010 final. Brian said that Jo Jo met Lar Corbett in the build up and told him that she wanted at least one goal in the final! Of course, we all know that Lar delivered three, Tipp stopped the drive for five and Tipp won only their second All-Ireland in the last fifteen years in what was a pulsating encounter. Brian King recalled that Tipp found themselves back in the All-Ireland final again in 2011 and again Jo Jo was out of the traps quicker than anyone organising bunting, flags and helping the chamber promote shop window competitions and so on. Kilkenny got their revenge however and followed that up in 2012 in what was a disastrous semi-final defeat for Tipperary.
Sean Hogan and Barney Loughnane listening to Brian King acting as the Credit Union’s own Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh recalling numerous Munster and All-Ireland Finals since 2001 with a Jo Jo Cunningham connection.
Some of Tipperary’s and Jo Jo Cunningham’s greatest supports are from St Cronan’s Services Roscrea. They were delighted to get their colours out for Jo Jo and join representatives of the credit union and the chamber of commerce at a special event in recognition of Jo Jo which took place in the credit union last Friday.
Sean Hogan, Pj Quinlan, Charlene Donnelly, Seamus Talbot, Deirdre Hogan, Brendan Wright & Brian King
By 2014 the next time Tipp qualified for the final, Brian King told those in attendance that Jo Jo was in recovery mode after a very few difficult years with illness. Brian said that while not able to lead the bunting charge Jo Jo did inspire it and together with the help of Cllr Michael Smith, The Chamber, The Men's Shed, Tess Moloney, Barney Loughnane and friends the job was done and Jo Jo gave her seal of approval at a special event down at the fountain before the big day.
Mary Crean (Roscrea Credit Union) makes a special presentation on behalf of the Credit Union to Jo Jo Cunningham on Friday last.
Deirdre Hogan and Brendan Wright pictured at a special event at Roscrea Credit Union on Friday last in honour of Jo Jo Cunningham
On that note, Brian king said a very special word of thanks to both Barney who was in attendance and Tess who was away on holiday working on her tan for the final! Both have been a great support to Jo Jo on all her campaigns. Brian also mentioned Amy Brooks and Tara Rowan who took up the mantle this year and got great support from Michael Smith, the men's shed and the Chamber and local businesses to name but a few. Brian said that Amy’s nephew Shane Fletcher is, of course, part of the minor panel on Sunday and he wished Shane and the lads every success against limerick. Brian King reminded those in attendance that Tara was, of course, instrumental in bringing the two Johnnies to Roscrea some weeks ago where they recorded their new song ahead of the final and said she deserves great credit for that also as it was a wonderful day for the youth of the town in particular. With former Credit Union Treasurer and Secretary Brendan Wright present Brian complimented all the estates and the streets etc for their great work in getting ready for the match. Brian said Limerick Street under the tutelage of Tess always makes a great effort but he said to Brendan that Kennedy Park always pulls out all the stops and have shown estates right around the country what it means to get behind the Tipp team.
Sean Hogan (Chairman Of Roscrea Credit Union) and Brian King (Manager Of Roscrea Credit Union & Secretary Of Roscrea Chamber Of Commerce) were delighted to make presentations to Jo Jo Cunningham on Friday morning last.
Returning to Jo Jo, Brian said that on behalf of himself, Sean Hogan the Chairman Of Roscrea Credit Union and Seamus Browne, the President Of Roscrea Chamber of Commerce and all gathered here this morning “we would just like to say Jo Jo how much we appreciate all the voluntary work you have committed to Roscrea over the years and in particular all the work you did with getting Roscrea ready for all-Ireland final day”. Brian King told the audience that Jo Jo Cunningham was a pioneer in establishing healthy competition around Tipperary for the best-decorated town in advance of All-Ireland final day and he said that he has no doubt that Jo Jo has indirectly contributed to helping inspire tipp players to go out and give it their all on the big day over the years. Brian King concluded by saying that not only has Jo Jo proved to be an inspiration to the tipp team but that she is an inspiration to us all in terms of her voluntary effort and how well she has battled back from her illness over the past few years. Brian said that it is great to see Jo Jo out and about, that she gives everyone she meets a great lift which is a great testament to Jo Jo’s personality and he said that without doubt, he thinks Jo Jo is Tipperary’s greatest hurling supporter and he wished Jo every happiness and plenty more All-Ireland wins for the future.
Sean Hogan (Chairman Of Roscrea Credit Union) and Brian King (Manager Of Roscrea Credit Union & Secretary Of Roscrea Chamber Of Commerce) pictured with Jo Jo Cunningham and her family at a special event in the credit union on Friday morning last in which both the credit union and the chamber made presentations to Jo Jo in recognition of her community service to Roscrea over the years and in particular her work in having the town ready for All-Ireland Sunday since 2001.
After a rapturous applause in honour of Jo Jo Brian then thanked the Chairman Of Roscrea Credit union, Sean Hogan for taking time off work that morning to come down and make a presentation to Jo Jo. Brian thanked the Chamber for supporting the occasion and he thanked Mary Crean and Eoin Shanahan and Deirdre Hogan for their great voluntary service in helping with perpetrations for the day. Brian said that Mary takes charge of all our member days in the credit union and we really appreciate her efforts. Brian said that the main presentation which was a beautifully framed copy of Jo Jo with photographs taken over the years of her out and about in the community would not have been possible without the help of PJ Wright. Brian thanked PJ and said it’s only years from now that people will appreciate the wonderful social history of Roscrea that PJ has captured on his cameras over the years. The last word was then left to Jo Jo who sent out a message to Amy and Tara that next she would be back fighting for her place on the bunting team next year! Incredible spirit from an incredible woman.
The gang from St Cronan’s Services, Roscrea, were delighted to be part of the celebrations in the credit union last Friday.