RIP Colm Madigan (1937-2020)

Leinster and Irish golf is in mourning this week following the death on 2 May of (Lt. Col.) Colm Madigan, best known in golfing circles, not for his rare feat of scoring a goal at Wembley Stadium, but as an accomplished referee and loyal servant of the game.
  • 10 May 2020

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He was born in Ennis, Co Clare on 7 October 1937, which was not only the feast of the Most Holy Rosary but also the feast day of the Defence Forces, which he served with distinction for his entire career.

A member of 31 Cadet Class (1956 – 1958), he was commissioned into the Infantry Corps, where he served mainly in the Curragh Camp area and in particular 3 Infantry Battalion, which he went on to command as a Lieutenant Colonel. 

He was an officer instructor in both the Cadet School and the Infantry School of the Military College and was also Adjutant Curragh Command, serving in the Congo in 1961 as Lieutenant, Platoon Commander, C Company, 35 Infantry Battalion, ONUC.   

A keen hurler in his day, he won two Senior hurling championships at midfield with his club Éire Óg Inis in 1956 and 1957 and represented his beloved Clare in both hurling and football at senior level in the 1950's.

He was part of the Clare team that played in the 'Wembley at Whit' exhibition hurling game of 1958, an annual venture organised by British GAA, famously scoring a goal in the shadow of the twin towers on the famous Wembley turf.

He would continue to play hurling and football for Curragh Camp teams while also playing golf off a single figure handicap as a member of Curragh Command Golf Society and (Royal) Curragh Golf Club, where he first served as Hon. Secretary in 1968.

He loved sport and through his son Seán's involvement as a player, he had a long-standing association with Old Crescent RFC that lasted long after Seán hung up his boots, travelling the length and breadth of the country as a supporter.

He is best remembered by his friends in Irish golf as a meticulous administrator and a referee.

"He was a member of my Championship Committee," recalled Seamus Smith, former General Secretary of the GUI. "He had an in-depth knowledge of the Rules of Golf and was meticulous in everything he did.  

"Without question, he was one of the best members of the Championship Committee of all time because he knew his game. He was very fair in any decisions he ever had to make. He was worth his weight in gold in terms of his knowledge."  

Leinster Golf's Wally Skelton (Trustee) remembers Colm as "an officer and a gentleman."

"We joined the Leinster Branch at the same time, and he was very keen on handicapping, and all the technical aspects of golf and he was very good at it," he said.  

"He was a thorough gentleman. He was a diligent worker for the Leinster Branch and a very good referee. We were soldiers in the field for many years, and he was a super companion."

As Joe McNamara, Chairman of Leinster Golf put it, "Colm was a very solid individual and very much an authority on the Rules of Golf. He was authoritative, given his military background, but he always acted in a mannerly fashion. There were no grey areas with Colm. We will miss him dearly."

Obituary courtesy of Brian Keogh Irish Golf Desk 

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The death has occurred of Colm Madigan, College Park, Newbridge, Kildare / Ennis, Clare. Formerly of Kilrush Road, Ennis, Co. Clare. Retired Lt Col, Irish Army, The Curragh Camp, peacefully at home. Beloved husband of Moira and dear father of Áine, Seán and Sheila. Sadly missed by his son in law Graeme and daughter in law Anne, devoted granddaughters Éle, Caoimhe, Tara, Maebh, Laura, Érin and Kate, brother Brendan, extended family and many friends. 
 A video of Colm Madigan's funeral Mass can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUj14GEPn9s&feature=emb_err_watch_on_yt