Massive turnout in tribute to ‘man of many talents’


A NEW book, Joe Pat Prunty – A Lifetime of  Football, Fields and Faith, is a celebration of the life of the remarkable Roslea man who is known the length and breadth of Ireland for building some of the country’s top sports pitches over many decades.

Over 300 attended the successful book launch on Saturday evening in Enniskillen’s Westville Hotel.

Joe Pat Prunty, the name synonymous with Prunty Pitches since the mid 1960s, constructing playing surfaces all over Ireland for a range of sports including GAA and soccer.


“We were overwhelmed and humbled as a family at the numbers who turned out for the book launch,” said his daughter Maria. “It was a wonderful success.”

She explained that the book came about through a woman who was office manager for Joe Pat for many years, May Ringland.

“She was always onto dad to write a book about his life but he never really had time. He only really retired a few years ago when he was 80. So she really was the driving force behind it. She listened to all his stories and was very much involved in the first part of the book. Sadly May passed away before the book was complete.

But others like Dermot Maguire and Veronica Reilly, Jim Joe Boyle and John Courtney took on the mantle to finish the book.

There were three guest speakers at the launch, All Star Peter McGinnity, Norrie Emerson from the Norman Emerson Group and Stanley Little, formerly from the Department of Agriculture.

There were displays all round the room showing Joe Pat’s lifetime of work first in agriculture and then in sports grounds.

An avid cameraman, he took many photographs all through his career, many of which were on show on the evening.


 His daughter Maria speaking on Joe Pat’s behalf described her father as a ‘man of many talents.’

“He had an entrepreneurial spirit, he was an innovative thinker, with a quiet determination to get things done and an ability to surround himself with a remarkable team of loyal people whose skills he could rely upon when he didn’t possess them himself,” she told the audience.

“This book is about dad’s life, but it’s about more than that. It represents a story of how we are connected to each other in different ways, of the unique relationships we share and the important roles we play in each other’s lives, and above all, how with the love, respect and support we show each other that anything is possible,” added Maria.

The book is on sale in John McBrien’s in Lisnaskea and John Mohan’s in Roslea or at the Prunty Contracts office, Newtownbutler.

There is a second launch at the Hotel Kilmore, Cavan tonight at 7pm.

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