Eamon Rea, born in Glenroe, South Limerick in May 1944, was the eldest of a family of 11, 8 boys and 3 girls. When he was a year old his parents Matt and Bridge moved to Brickfield, Effin, where they ran a relatively large farm. Being born into a farming family Eamon loved the rural way of life. Life on the farm taught him the cycle of the seasons, the wonders of nature, the wonders of hard work, responsibility and above all teamwork which would later play a major role in his family life, business life and sporting success and achievement. Eamon attended the local national school in Effin and in 1957 he commenced his secondary education in St. Munchin’s College in Limerick for 5 long years. It was envisaged many times over that period that he was destined to become a man of the cloth. One of his school reports stated “that he showed a high spiritual dimension” and another stated that he appeared to be a “servant leader” and at times showed “an impish disposition”. In 1962 he went to Pallaskenry Agricultural College where he studied science and learned the basics of doing farm work on a practical scale at the college. In 1963 he attended UCC and studied Dairy Science there until 1966 when he graduated with a Science degree from that renowned education institution. After graduating he worked briefly at Athlacca Creamery where he was given the task of Creamery Manager, a role young Rea excelled in, an enormous responsibility at such a young age. However his social life took on a new meaning while there. In early 1968 he took up a position with Galtee Food Products which was a subsidiary of Mitchelstown Creameries. In March of that year he was assigned to Dublin as a representative for that company. For the following 22 years he marketed that company’s products in the capital. He played a key role in the modernisation of that business in Dublin and growth of the agricultural business in Ireland. In 1989, after a spell of almost 22 years in the agricultural and dairy business, Eamon became a publican. In November of that year he opened his pub in Parkgate Street. ‘Rea’s Pub’, Parkgate Street, is a mecca for supporters and sports fans alike of all codes on the eve of and day of all major sporting events in the capital. Eamon’s sporting achievements include a South Limerick Minor hurling championship with Effin in 1959 and a Minor football with Knocksouna that same year. In 1961 he switched clubs and won a South Limerick Minor hurling championship with Kilmallock. While in St. Munchin’s he played hurling, rugby and handball. He won 3 Munster Junior rugby medals and 1 senior schools medal with Munchin’s. While in Pallaskenry he played hurling and football and won medals in numerous competitions. He played Minor hurling for Limerick in 1962. It was during his time in UCC that he developed into an athlete supreme. He was on the UCC team that won Fitzgibbon Cup competitions in 1964/65 and 1965/66. Those teams were laden with inter county players. He also won a Cork Senior hurling league medal with UCC in 1966. On moving to Dublin in March 1968 he initially joined O’Toole’s GAA Club and played a number of Senior hurling league games with that famous club. The following year he joined Faugh’s and is still a member of that legendary club. During his playing career with that club he won 3 Dublin Senior hurling championship medals and 3 senior hurling league medals. When his playing days were over Eamon took up administrative duties with Faugh’s and became Chairman of that great club and remained in the hot seat for 17 years. He was also a selector with Faugh’s team of 1986 which won a championship/league double. Eamon got his first taste of Senior inter county hurling action when playing for Limerick against Dublin in the first round of the N.H.L at Croke Park on the last Sunday of September 1963 (50 years ago). He played left corner back for 3 successive years for Limerick in both the league and championship. Limerick’s hour of glory in Cork came in the first round of the Munster Senior hurling championship of 1966 when Limerick blithed Tipperary, with new boy Eamon Cregan scoring 3-4. Eamon Rea was of course playing at corner back. When the game was over, a newly ordained priest, well known to some of the Limerick players, visited the dressing room to give his blessing and good wishes for the season ahead. Admittedly, it was not a regular practice, though a number of the team needed more than a few priestly prayers, Eamon Rea was returning from a shower, to be greeted by the priest who was in the act of imparting his blessing. When the priest had left the dressing room Eamon turned to John Bresnan seated next to him and said “Jasus John was I that bad that he had to come to bless me”. However the blessing did not work as Limerick were beaten by Cork in Killarney by 2 points in the next round. He remained on the Limerick Senior panel until 1968. His personal and social life had to be attended to. After showing impressive form for his club Faugh’s he was recalled to the Limerick panel for the 1972/73 league campaign. He featured at fullback in the league final against Wexford at Croke Park in 1973, moved to full forward for the Munster final against Tipperary, All Ireland semi final against London (in which he marked his brother Gerry) and the All Ireland Final against Kilkenny on 2nd September 1973; he played a star role on all three occasions. Eamon Rea’s name will be indelibly linked to those games, now close on 40 years on. However a famous quotation or advice attributed to Eamon by one of his playing colleagues as they took to the field for the start of the second half was “keep your high balls low into the wind”. The following year, 1974, when Limerick were well beaten by Kilkenny with Eamon again playing at full forward, another quote attributed to him was “they can’t blame me, I never got near the ball”. Eamon remained a member of the Limerick Senior hurling panel until 1977. He continued to hurl with his club Faugh’s until 1980. When the late Mick Tynan came to Dublin in 1990, in an effort to start off a Dublin branch of the Limerick Youth Development Association, Eamon, along with John Keating, Harry Keane, Tim Gilbert, Charlie Chawke, Michael Fitzgerald, the late Mick Hayes, Ned Crowley, Nelius O’Connell, Tom Buckley and members of the then Limerick Association, came on board and founded an association which was the forerunner to the Limerick GAA Supporters Club – Dublin. On Friday 28th April 1995 a group of Limerick people met in the Goat Inn, Goatstown to discuss the formation of a branch of the Limerick GAA Supporters Club in Dublin. Thus the association was born and the inaugural meeting was fixed for Wednesday 14th June 1995 at the Red Cow Inn, Naas Road. Eamon Rea was elected Chairperson and remained in the hot seat until 2011. Under his stewardship the Limerick Supporters Club – Dublin (which incorporated the Limerick Association in 1999) grew and continues to be a vibrant association. Penultimately we fast track back to the mid 1970s, due to Eamon’s sporting commitments, his social life had taken back stage, but this was make up time. The showband era had come and gone but the nightclub era was on its way. Mr. Socialite Rea visited and socialised in Dr. Zhivago’s ‘Boganels’ and ‘Lipstick’. In 1977, while attending the nightclub ‘Sloopy’s’ he met his future wife Mary O’Reilly, it was love at first sight. In 1980 they got married and in the late 80s they were blessed with a daughter Lisa and son Sean. Both Eamon and Mary are totally devoted to their two children and are extremely proud of them. Eamon has served the Gaelic Athletic Association with distinction over the decades. On Friday 12th April 2013 Eamon was honoured as Limerick Person of the Year 2013, an honour richly deserved.