November 19 2016 12:00 AM
Sporting circles throughout the north east and further afield came together to mourn the loss of Gerry McCabe. Ath Leathan, Racecourse Road, who died on Friday November 11 last.
The 49 year old was a hugely popular and dedicated sportsman who excelled at all sports. The youngest son of Mary and the late Jackie McCabe, ‘Ardaghy’, Dublin Road, he followed the trail blazed by his older brothers Declan and John, proving fearless on the rugby pitch, mountain bike trails or competing in the toughest of all, the full Ironman triathlon.
His sudden death came as an enormous shock to all who knew him and tributes flowed in from those who played or raced alongside him, who recalled his great sense of humour and warm smile.
An all-round sportsman, Gerry played for Dundalk Rugby Club’s firsts but his passion for two wheels began with the Dundalk and District Motorcross Club in the 1980s. He joined Cuchulainn Cycling Club in 2002, winning numerous national titles across a number of disciplines and took part in international mountain bike competitions including Transalp and Rock d’Azur.
Paying tribute to Gerry, the club stated: ‘He was always a complete gentleman and was heavily involved in all aspects of the sport and club activities. Gerry was a born competitor and has won practically every competition the club has ever run. Gerry wasn’t big in stature but he had a huge heart. He was a warrior and a fighter to the back-bone. Stories of his accidents and crashes are legendary, but nothing ever stopped Gerry from getting back on his bike. He was always quick with a wise crack and was rarely seen without a smile on his face.’
Cycling Ireland also expressed their sadness at his passing. ‘Gerry McCabe from Cuchulainn Cycling Club. Gerry was not only an incredibly talented mountain biker but is also one of the infamous three McCabe brothers who host of one of the longest running MTB marathon events, da Cooley Thriller.’
Gerry’s grit, fearlessness and determination also saw him succeed in triathlons including the notoriously difficult Ironman, and he was a much valued member of the Setanta Trialthon Club.
The affection and esteem in which he was held was shown by the constant stream of mourners who called to sympathise with his family and the huge congregation who attended his funeral in St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church on Monday and
Cyclists from the local Cuchulainn Cycling Club and Setanta Triathlon Club rode along with the cortege and Dundalk Rugby Club provided a guard on honour.
Gerry is survived by his heartbroken mother Mary, sisters Margaret, Karen (New Zealand) and Paula, brothers Declan and Johnny, sisters-in-law Finonnuala, Mary, brother-in-law Frans and Ben, nephews Robert, Keelan and Andrew, nieces Laura, Danann and Megan, cousins, extended family relatives, neighbours and wide circle of friends in the Cuchullain Cycling Club, Setanta Triathlon Club and North East Runners Club.