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14 January 2019

Born to Thomas Leckey and Anne Collins on 13th September 1924, in his youth Bertie Leckey was a keen soccer player and an avid supporter of Belfast Celtic and Manchester United. However, a chance attendance at a Down v Armagh Ulster Semi-final in Newcastle in 1942 changed all that and Bertie began his 77 years of dedication to the GAA. 

He was at the forefront of the awakening of Gaelic games in Aghaderg in 1942 and in August 1943, an 18 year-old Bertie Leckey became the Aghaderg Club’s Founding Secretary. He was a skilful dual player but it was his talents as an intelligent, tenacious and committed administrator that set Bertie apart and he was the driving force behind the club in those difficult formative years. He guided the club in his role as Secretary 1943- 1961, Chairman 1965 and Treasurer 1994-2001. 

He is one of a very few people to have held all three key positions in the club and throughout his lifetime with Aghaderg GAC and Ballyvarley HC he has played his part in so many roles and was always there supporting all our club activities including fundraising and cultural activities, football, hurling, camogie and bowls.

The second love of his life was the Down GAA and from 1948 to 2010 he was involved in one capacity or another with the County, working tirelessly for the promotion of our Gaelic games. Included in his many roles were Secretary of the Down Hurling Board 1948-49, Asst Secretary of the South Down and Mourne League 1949-64, South Down Board Secretary 1964-65, Secretary of the All County League 1965-70, Down County Board Member 1952-70, Down History Committee 1982-84 and Down Referees Committee.

He has received many awards in recognition of his work for the GAA including The South Down Hall of Fame Award 1996(the first winner of the award), Banbridge District Council’s Service to Sport Award 1996, Services to the GAA Award 2010 presented by the Down Referees Committee. There are very few people who stand out for their accomplishments as much as our own Bertie Leckey.

So, it is with some sadness but with great pride and affection that we remember the life of our Club President, a Giant of a Gael both for Aghaderg and Down and the perfect gentleman through and through. 

Bertie’s funeral will be on Wednesday, leaving his home at 11.30am for 12.00 Mass in St Mary’s, Lisnagade.