Gary Halpin RIP

Gary Halpin RIP

RIP Notice:


On Tuesday last February 23rd, our dear friend Gary Halpin took his leave from us - unexpectedly and way too soon. Losing a loved one so suddenly is jarring, but to do so during a pandemic, stripped us of the opportunity to say goodbye as we normally would.

Carol, along with Bentley, Leonie and Lenka, followed the current guidelines carefully and closely. On Saturday last, after a funeral mass at St Joeph’s Church in Foulkstown, Co Kilkenny attended by the immediate family and close friends, Keith and Nicola Wood, the family took Gary on a final road trip. passing by his old stomping grounds of Kilkenny RFC and Rockwell College on the way to the Island Crematorium in Cork for a final goodbye.

The family invited three close family friends to represent some of the key phases in his life - Robbie Galster stood for his childhood and Kilkenny, Johnny Riordan covered the Athletics community and Rockwell College and Ken O’Connell symbolised his time as a professional rugby player in London and as an Irish international.

The family chose a guitar, a favourite photo of Gary and Carol, his omnipresent Manhattan College baseball cap and one of his Irish jerseys to be placed with the coffin.

When the time is right, a memorial will be held to celebrate Gary’s life and all his friends will be welcome to attend. Carol and family would like to thank you all for the kind words and thoughts shared over the last few days.

May Gary rest in peace.

Message from our President:

It was Maya Angelou who said “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

As we process the news of the untimely death of Gary Halpin (1966-2021), we will see and hear all about his incredible sporting achievements. He was an incredibly accomplished rugby player who played in two World Cups, a world class hammer thrower who competed in the World Athletics Championships. But there was so much more to Gary. 

Those of us lucky enough to have spent time in Rockwell College in the early 1980’s always knew there was something special about one Garrett Francis Halpin. He made everybody feel great. He was everybody’s friend. He was everybody’s hero. You couldn’t but love him. Every teacher, every member of staff, every opponent on the rugby pitch, every competitor in the Hammer - all have stories of their interactions with Gary. The part that they remembered was how he made them feel - Gary cared about inclusion before it was a movement. He was the same lovely, warm and funny guy with everyone, from First Years to Seventh Years. 

As news of his passing spreads through the Rockwell College Union network, I have heard stories that have had me howling with laughter and bawling crying. 

And that’s how we remember him, how he made us feel. Go easy, my friend.

John Riordan

President, Rockwell College Union 

Some lovely tributes to Gary can be found below: 

"Reflection for our Dad": Reflection for our Dad.pdf

Irish Times:

Irish Examiner:

OTB Rugby:


Poem (Gary Halpin, by Tom Clancy):