All club members were deeply saddened to learn on Thursday last of the death of one of the club’s staunchest members, Ernie Cooke. Since he came to Sligo in the 1960’s, Ernie was deeply involved in all club activities, and until his illness was a regular at all games in Hamilton Park. His post match analyses were always informed and constructive, and were eagerly sought by his fellow alickadoos.
Ernie served as club President for three years,from 1977-1980,and he discharged his duties with efficiency and decorum. He was a most welcoming host to all visiting teams, and ensured all newcomers to the club felt at home. Ernie always upheld, and had great respect for, the traditions and protocols of the game. He also served as a club Trustee for many years.
Ernie was a very kind benefactor to Sligo RFC, and he very generously presented the club with goalposts, and the existing pitch railings, from his saw mills at Hazelwood. He was always prepared to help the club, in whatever capacity required, most notably as Santa Claus for numerous Christmas childrens’ parties in the club.
In his younger days, Ernie was a player of note, playing at full-back for Corinthians and also for Connacht Schools.
Before the commencement of last Sunday’s Connacht League game in Hamilton Park V Buccaneers, a minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect to Ernie. The President, Tom Gilligan, on behalf of the Committee and all club members, extends deepest sympathy to Ernie’s wife, Kathleen, his two daughters and his relatives.