THE death has taken place of one of Fermanagh’s finest figures. Joe Pat Prunty (88), of Lettergreen, Newtownbutler, died peacefully at Gortacharn nursing home last Friday after a short illness.
Founder of Prunty Pitches, Mr Prunty was regarded as a “true visionary” and known across Ireland for developing GAA fields using a unique sand-based drainage system in which he received an MBE for his work in the field of drainage back in 1985.
Reflecting on Mr Prunty’s life during his Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Church, Newtownbutler on Sunday, Fr Kevin Malcolmson said, “Joe Pat Prunty was born near Roslea in 1932. In his early years he set up his own agricultural contracting business and worked night and day on the land.
“Hundreds of pitches and sports grounds around the country and as far away as London have been constructed or re-developed by Prunty Pitches.
“These state of the art pitches have brought new life into countless communities and created many opportunities for young people to develop their sporting talents and for budding young sportsmen and sportswomen to flourish.”
Commenting on Mr Prunty’s lifelong commitment to the GAA, Fr Malcolmson noted, “He won a Junior All-Ireland medal with Fermanagh, four Senior Championship medals with Roslea in the late 1950s and has contributed to the development of the organisation in many ways over the years.
“He remained a faithful and loyal supporter of his local Roslea club and served as honorary chairman of the club.
Paying tribute to a “lifelong friend,” Roslea Shamrocks stated, “He was central to the development of GAA facilities of the highest possible standard across Ireland.
“In 1988, Prunty Pitches developed the current playing field in Roslea Shamrocks which has been enjoyed by generations of players and spectators.”
“Joe Pat was central to the development of GAA facilities of the highest possible standard across Fermanagh and his services were in high demand across Ireland and further afield,” he said.
The late Joe Pat Prunty is survived by his wife Angela, children John, Edel (Raymond) Maria, Nora (David) and Joseph.
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