Seamas MacGeidigh

Seamas was a duine ildana

In the language of kings, ‘duine uasal’ always means a ‘noble person’. But our sadly departed ‘cara mor” great friend Seamas MacGeidigh from Gortahork. was also a ‘duine ildana’ a man for all seasons. His sudden, untimely death has slid in like an icy day in a summer where his beloved Tir Conaill were in their sixth Ulster final.

Seamas was in his mid 50s and had been out for a walk when he got the final call on Monday evening. Last Saturday evening the great ‘guth na nGael’ voice of the Gael, told thousands of listeners of Raidio na Gaeltachta that Donegal had edged out Monaghan, and boy wasn’t Seamas proud of his native patch. He had a unique ringing voice, accurate rapid fire delivery that could make even the dullest encounter sparkle for he was a real Donegal diamond from Gortahork, on the edge of the Western World.

Slan go foill, a chomradai.
And, in a profession that often feasts on the carcass of failure, Seamas always looked for the positive in people and as Regional Manager of his station in Gaoth Dobhair, he brought only the best and the highest of standards “i measc a mhuintir fein” among his own”. As a sports and news journalist, he fronted Barr Scealta from 1996 to 2004, and had the highest standards of accuracy, clarity and most of all balance as Seamas was much more than a sound byte man.  Last year he celebrated covering 21 Donegal county finals and was responsible for sponsoring the Senior Football Championship in the county for many years.

In his younger days Seamas was a student in University College Galway in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and was a fine soccer player, lining out for the Collingwood team. This writer knew Seamas in those magical Galway years where so many Donegal students went joyfully to that special city by the sea. And I never remember him without a smile. His sunny spirit and laconic wit was something to behold. He later played local soccer around North West Donegal and ran a public house before joining Raidio na Gaeltachta in 1988.

But his soccer skills were kept quiet, for Seamas had no ego and that is a real rarity in our world.
Seamas covered some of the worst atrocities in Northern Ireland in the early 1990s with precision, clarity, balance and above all empathy for the weak and the vulnerable. And although his emotional intelligence and natural grace saw him rise to be Regional Manager, he was happiest with the earphones on in a roaring crowd in Clones, Sean MacCumhaills Park or even Breffni where he was happily enthroned on Saturday night. He once told this writer that he was just so very happy to have seen Anthony Molloy and Michael Murphy lift Sam Maguire for Clann Conaill.

Well, not half as happy and honoured, as we were to have known you Seamus

Slan go foill a chomradai.