On November 1st last 50 year old Portlaoise man Mick Rigney suffered a serious and debilitating stroke. The outpouring and expressions of concern and good wishes conveyed to Mick’s wife Linda and 3 children, Orla (14) Eimear (17) and Mark (20) and extended family and friends are testimony to the individual that Mick Rigney is.
Initiated by a group of family, close friends and work colleagues, a special evening of sport, music and friendship is being held on Friday 27th July in The Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, preceded by a major golf classic earlier that day in Portlaoise GC where Mick is a popular member.
Mick has worked with ESB networks since he was 18 years old, and his illness has touched many people. This day and evening is being arranged largely at the behest of friends, colleagues and neighbours who have expressed a desire to show their support for Mick and his family.
Over many years Mick was a keen Gaelic footballer with Portlaoise GFC and won county titles at both minor and U21 level. Mick has a love of horses and greyhounds and there are legions of anecdotes sure to be recalled on the 27th, as not all of Mick’s “Dead Certs” have delivered on Mick’s belief and faith in them!
Mick’s real sporting love is rugby, and his beloved PRFC. After many years playing No 8 with the club, an additional testimony to his leadership and popularity was evident when Mick went on to become president of PRFC for two years in the early 2000’s, and has remained a valued Committee member thereafter.
Mick is the eldest in a family of 8 boys, his parents Mick (snr) and Kathleen are among many of Mick’s loved ones and friends hoping he can make a full recovery in the months ahead.
Mick’s strength of character and determination was perhaps best demonstrated when a freak work accident some years ago left him with two badly injured ankles. A lesser man may have struggled to get back to full health as quickly as Mick did. That same determination and commitment shown by Mick throughout his work and sporting life is being tested to its very core since he suffered his devastating stroke.
After family, Mick’s great loves and passion are all sports related – a non smoker all his life, Mick loves nothing more than a fun day out at some sports gathering and a few social pints and ‘craic’, where without realising it, Mick can hold centre stage with his usual wit and fun loving roguery and his uncanny ability to always see the bigger picture in all situations.
For the moment, Mick needs 24/7 care and assistance, and his family home needs modification. It is also hoped to purchase a wheelchair accessible car to make day to day life somewhat easier.
Mick’s wife Linda said “I just want to say thanks to everyone for their kind words and actions of support since Mick got sick. Also, to his very good work colleagues and friends who are helping us through this difficult time and we greatly look forward to welcoming old and new friends alike to the Heritage Hotel on the night”
His brother Brian said “those of us that know Mick well, know that the last thing he would want is to be the centre of attention and treated in any way special. But what this is about is helping out a great brother and friend who has given all of us so much over the years. Even in Mick’s illness he continues to inspire us all and we just want to show our appreciation by helping him out at this time.”