Castleknock College Union

Bernard Peter Hynes, class '44

In Memoriam

Apr 16, 2007
Bernard Peter Hynes, class '44 -


Bernard Peter Hynes B.D.S., N.U.I., died 16th April 2007 at his home in Carrick-on-Suir.

Affectionately known as Bernie or B.P. to friends. he was born in Dublin 8th April, 1926, as the only son of Joseph Hynes (Tulla) and Bridget Brady (Cootehill), and educated in Abbyfeale and Carrick-on-Suir by the Sisters of Mercy and Christian Brothers, before finishing his secondary education at St. Vincent’s Castleknock College. His aunt Ellen Hynes (Tulla) who had become Sister Bruno of the Sisters of Charity in 1913, told his father that he must send his only son to the Vincentians at Castleknock to get a proper Catholic education. While at Castleknock he was a good friend of the late Fr. Patrick O’Donoghue C.M. and was noted for his astute management of “The Grub-Sale” during the war.

He went on to study dentistry at U.C.D. Whilst in Dublin, he met Gay Walters a daughter of the late Dr. Mortimer Walters (Caherconlish) whom he married in 1951. There was a possibility that they might have moved to London, a city which he loved so much and where he practiced for a short time from a surgery on Wandsworth Road. However, the lure of Carrick proved too strong and it there they set up home and where he would practice dentistry for the next 40 years or so, and from where they sent us three of their sons: Peter, class '70; Frank, class 74 and the late Robert, class '75.

Bernie was keenly interested in sport from an early age and was one of the founding members of the old Carrick-on-Suir Golf Club in Whitechurch and “The Links” was to be a major part of his life for nearly 70 years. He was a great student of the game and loved to read about the great golfers and regale us with stories of the great Jimmy Bruen and Harry Bradshaw and trips to see the Ryder Cup. At the 1953 Ryder Cup held at Wentworth he was lucky enough to pick up a steward’s armband and enjoyed the final day’s play from inside the ropes. He was heavily involved in the administration of Carrick Golf Club where he was made Captain in 1956 and served for many years as Honorary Secretary and also became President in 1973. He was very proud to be asked to serve as Captain again in 1989 for the club’s Golden Jubilee. He enjoyed the competitive and the social side of the game and fostered relations between the local clubs in the area, particularly Clonmel and Tramore where he made many friends. One of his favourite golfing memories was a trip he made to Scotland in the 1970s with his great friend and neighbour Liam Hogan and two local Padres – Fathers Callanan and Cunningham where they had the privilege of playing the Old Course at St. Andrews. He holed out from off the green on the 18th at Blairgowrie in driving wind and rain to vanquish the two padres and the subsequent celebration was something to imagine.

His golfing horizons broadened when he was elected as a delegate from Carrick to the Munster Golf Council where he served for over 25 years culminating in Chairmanship of the Munster Branch and ultimately in the greatest honour in Irish Amateur Golf – President of the Golfing Union of Ireland in 2006 – Ryder Cup Year. As the G.U.I. is the oldest Golfing Union in the world, the members call it “the top job in golf”. He made many friends in his time with the Munster Branch where he also served as Treasurer for over 20 years and he travelled to the four corners of Ireland to watch golf and officiate at matches and tournaments. One of his favourite outings was to the South of Ireland Golf Championship at Lahinch every July which he attended for more than 20 years and where he saw many great matches. He was very proud to be involved in the stewardship of amateur golf in Ireland which has seen the development of many great Irish golfers over the years. He was a stickler for the rules and we had many dinner table conversations on the interpretation of what constituted an unplayable lie or how to define a hole made by a burrowing animal. Many Sunday lunches were interrupted by the phone ringing with another query on the rules. He was a member of the rules committee of the GUI for many years and along with late Joe Carr, was one a small number of trustees of the GUI.

His other great sporting interest was national hunt racing and again he covered many thousands of miles in search of that elusive jackpot. He loved the racing scene and made many friends in his travels over the years. He always favoured National Hunt over the Flat and he made the annual pilgrimage to Cheltenham with his wife Gay for nearly 30 years.

His move into the public health service also spawned another career as a representative on the South Eastern Health Board where he fought tirelessly to improve healthcare in Carrick, Clonmel and throughout the South East. Again, he made many friends through his years on the Health Board and was very proud to be elected Chairman of the South Eastern Health Board in 1993. This was extremely useful when he had the casting vote on a 50:50 motion to close St. Bridget’s Hospital, Carrick-on-Suir.

He loved his books and had wide-ranging interests from stamp collecting to art and history. He found time to serve the local community as a member of the Lions Club and as a Marriage Guidance Counsellor.

It was unfortunate that he was taken ill at the beginning of his year as President of the Golfing Union of Ireland in 2006 but he was determined to make the most of it. It was this determination coupled with his wife Gay’s support and the medical team in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Clonmel that got him fit to cut the ribbon at the opening of the new GUI headquarters in Carton in July 2005. He fought on bravely to again attend the South of Ireland in Lahinch and further to attend the Gala Dinner for the Ryder Cup. Despite his health going into decline he did manage to make it to Carton to hand over to incoming GUI President, Tommy Basquille in February 2007 because that is what he knew should be done.

He was survived by his wife Gay and children, Peter (Battersea), Patricia Mulcahy (Henley-on-Thames), Frank (Basingstoke), Deirdre Curtin (Naas), Stephen (Woking) and Rosemary Skehan (Lucan), his son Robert (Dusseldorf) having predeceased him.

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