JIM Curran, a man whose name will be instantly recognisable to all associated with Tyrone GAA, has passed away today at the age of 66 after losing his fight with cancer.
Curran was involved as logistics officer with the county teams at minor, U21 and senior level over the past twenty years, and will forever be associated with the All-Ireland winning victories in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
The Ardboe clubman also refereed at the highest levels. He officiated the Ulster final between Donegal and Derry in 1992, the All-Ireland senior club final in 1993, and was also on the Tyrone GAC in the eighties and nineties as well as holding various positions with his club.
Three-time All-Ireland winner Brian McGuigan described his club colleague Jim as ‘one in a million’ when he reminisced on his life today.
“Jim lifted me for my first minor training when he was 16 years of age. That was 24 years ago. He brought me to training right until I quit with Tyrone in 2013. Jim was a man that lived three lives in the one life. He was one of a million, nobody had a bad word to say about him.
“He did everything in GAA, he played, he refereed at the top level. He was Ardboe’s secretary, treasurer and chairman for years.
“It’s a big loss to Ardboe and Tyrone in general. Mickey Harte had him involved from minor right up to senior level.
“He was Mr Organiser. It didn’t matter who you were – if me or Horse [Gavin Devlin] wasn’t there and we were five minutes late for the bus, we were told to go to Ballygawley and catch it there.”
McGuigan also recalls that Curran, who was diagnosed with cancer at the start of this year, derived as much satisfaction from the county’s historic All-Ireland wins as anyone.
“Jim’s official job was liason officer – going between the team and the county board – but he took on much more than that.
“He always gave great value – if we stayed down in Dublin before a match, he was the life and soul of the party, and it was the same when we won the All-Irelands. He was a great man.”