THE LATE HUBERT JACKSON (1931 - 2007)
Hubert Jackson was born in 1931 to Adam and Catherine Jackson (nee Conroy). He was the youngest of a family of five, having three sisters, Mary (May) Dennison, Margie Egan who died in 1994 and Kathleen Cowley. Hubert’s brother, Adam, a well know greyhound trainer at Clapton in England trained Patricia’s Hope to win the English, Scottish and Welsh Greyhound Derby in 1972 and the English Derby again in 1973. Adam died in 1989. Hubert was born and lived his early life on the Naas Road side of Tinnycross, Ballymore Eustace but for the past thirty-six years lived with his sister Kathleen and her family at Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace.
Hubert as a young boy suffered a blow to the back of his left leg during a playing accident, which resulted in an abscess forming on his leg. However, the surgery to remove the abscess went wrong resulting in Hubert having to spend time in Cappagh Hospital and having to wear a metal calliper splint to support his left leg for a period of time. He recovered but Hubert was left with a life long limp. This did not stop Hubert from participating in country pursuits such as fishing, shooting and hunting. He could scale a fence with anyone and was the last man to complain of tiredness when out through the countryside enjoying his love of nature. Nor did this stop him in his chosen career in one of the toughest industries, the building industry. Like most of his contempories in the trade, Hubert was a gifted all rounder who could turn his hands to all aspects of the building trade but he was particularly well known and sought after as a plasterer. Hubert and Joe McGrath carried out all the plastering work to the Church during major restoration work from 1987 – 1990 prior to the Church fire on the 26th September 1990.
Looking through some old Ballymore Eustace school records I found Hubert in 1st Class in 1940 with his life long friends Mick Murphy and Joe McGrath along with Thomas Clarke, Noel Fetherstone, Richard Hartigan, Thomas Quinn, William Maher, Dermot Stapleton, Joseph Murphy, Patrick Clarke, Patrick Kelly, Thomas McLoughlin, David Rodgers and William Fields. Although many of his classmates became part of the Irish Diaspora, Hubert spent his lifetime in Ballymore Eustace.
I’m not sure if Hubert could actually see the Liffey from his home during his childhood but as sand and gravel contractors removed the Kimeens Hill he was able to overlook the whole Liffey valley beneath his home from Hines Ford to the Skaw Banks, Inch na Cailin, the Ferny Inch and Ardenode. From early childhood Hubert developed a love for fly fishing, ‘the contemplative man’s sport’, and spent hours on the Liffey in pursuit of the spotted beauties, the trout. He knew every nook and cranny along the river and where every trout and salmon lay and loved to pass on his knowledge to his nephews David Dennison and Paddy Egan who often accompanied Hubert on the River. He was one of the founder members of the Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association in 1974 and remained on the Committee up to his untimely death.
Hubert, Jim Deegan and Richard Cowley made a little bit of history when they represented the Association to win the Liffey Shield competition fished on Kilcullen water of the Liffey on Saturday 7th July 1984. This was the first time that the Association was successfully represented at an inter-club team competition. The Liffey Shield competition is open to all clubs affiliated to the Federation of Liffey Angling Clubs and is based on the heaviest combined team bag weight of trout landed during the competition.
Hubert won many angling competitions run by the Fishing Club, landing a beautiful trout of 4 lbs 2 ozs. in the Mick Murphy Punchestown Trophy on Sunday 25th April 1999 but his biggest success came when he won the Charity Angling Competition on Poulaphouca Reservoir on Sunday 5th July 1998 in aid of the Children’s Hospital, Harcourt Street, Dublin. For his trouble Hubert rowed away in a beautiful Mayfly fishing boat. He loved fishing on Poulaphouca Reservoir in the Mayfly boat with his friends, the late Terry Morgan, Willie Ryan and Pat Dunworth, and when the fishing was over for the day, they all enjoyed the few pints, the grub and the GAA slagging and betting in Poulaphouca House.
In 2005 the Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association presented Hubert with an award to mark his lifelong contribution to the Club.
Hubert was also a keen gunman for most of his life and was a member of the St. Brigid's Gun Club in Ballymore Eustace. There is a lovely photograph in Phil Murphy’s pub of Hubert with Mick Murphy, Eddie Murphy and brothers Peter and Pat Lawler, grouse shooting in the Wicklow Mountains when they were all young men. The gun club reared pheasants in pens in various locations in the surrounding countryside and like many others, having been involved in the rearing of these beautiful birds, Hubert became attached to them and in later life could no longer bring himself to shoot them.
Hubert was a member of Eddie Gordon’s ‘Thatch’ Dart Team along with Toddy Brogan, John Browne, Mick Doonan, Mick Douglas, ‘Long’ Jim Doyle, Gerry Foster, Eddie Gordon, Harry Hawkins, Mattie Kelly, Mick Murphy, Tom Nugent and a large panel of players too numerous to mention. They were the first dart team from this side of the county to win the very competitive North Kildare & South County Dublin Dart League 1966-67 and they also beat the great Jack McKenna’s three in a row All Ireland winning dart team in a tournament final in Sean Corscadden’s of Kilcock. The team had a huge following; chief amongst them being wheelchair bound Tom Murray who attended all their matches. Because of the travelling distances involved in the Kildare Dart League they joined the West Wicklow Dart League and as Mick Murphy’s Dart Team, they along with new players such as Paddy Balfe, Bill Cullen, Jimmy Evans, Mick Hannon, Mick Humphries, Tony McKnight, Frank O’Brien, Pat O’Neill, Jimmy Pearse, Tom Quinn, won this league something like 16 or 17 times.
(John Browne informed me that Hubert, Gerry, Tom and himself learned and practiced dart throwing in Mrs. Mollie McKnight’s always open house in Briencan along with Mollie’s family, Barney, Dick and Tony and everybody else who happened to drop in. Peter was busy running and boxing.)
Although Hubert never married, his nephew Noel Cowley gave a very moving account of Hubert the family man at his Requiem Mass on Monday 22nd January 2007. All the various treats Hubert lavished on the Cowley children, the few bob for Punchestown races and the bag of fruit and chocolates after the races, the trips to the pictures in Kildare Town in Hubert’s ‘new’ car and all the other family events, the Communions, Confirmations, Weddings in the Cowley household in which Hubert played a major role were fondly and proudly recalled.
For the past few years Hubert suffered declining health problems but each time fought back and continued to fish with Pat and Willie and nephew Declan right up to the end of the 2006 angling season. For two years Hubert received dialysis treatment at his home in Bishopsland. Hubert’s nephew Andrew learned all about dialysis and how to operate the dialysis machine from the staff in Tallaght Hospital and each night carried out the dialysis procedure with Hubert and also arranged the large amount of medication that Hubert had to take. This love and care at home by his sister Kathleen and his nephew Andrew meant that Hubert only had to attend Tallaght Hospital on a monthly basis for a check up.
Hubert Jackson died suddenly after a two week stay at Tallaght Hospital on Friday 19th January 2007 and his family are still awaiting the result of the post mortem.
The Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association provided a Guard of Honour at Hubert’s Removal to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ballymore Eustace and again after the Requiem Mass on Monday 22nd January 2007, the cortege stopping for a minute silence on the Liffey Bridge as a mark of respect and appreciation for a departed friend and a dedicated angler. May he rest in peace.
To his sisters Kathleen and May, to his nieces, nephews, extended family and friends we offer our sincere sympathy.
(Tommy Deegan Hon. Sec. Ballymore Eustace T.S.A.A. with thanks to Kathleen, John Browne and Tom Nugent)
Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association
Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association will host the I.T.F.F.A Leinster River Fly Fishing Championship on Sunday 1st April 2007.
Jimmy Evans Perpetual Cup, Club Competition, 25th March 2007
The Youth National Qualifier will be held on Lough Lene on Saturday 14th April 2007.
The Corcoran Cup Leinster Championship 2007 will be held on Lough Ennel on Sunday 13th May 2007.
Pat Dunworth and Sean Gunshenan will represent the Association in the 2007 I.T.F.F.A. National Fly Fishing Championship on Lough Owel on Saturday 9th June 2007.
International River Fly Fishing Competition will be held on the River Liffey, Newbridge on the 6th July 2007
The Leinster Shield will be fished on Lough Derrvarragh on Sunday 19th August 2007.
The Leinster National Qualifier will be held on Lough Owel on Saturday 22nd September 2007.