I have many fond memories of Ronnie Long, a kind and generous man who was always supportive of me all the way back to the time I was a young athlete in Ballyhaunis long ago.
In those days of lovely innocence I used to hitch-hike to sports all around Connacht.
I remember one time when I was finding it hard to get a lift home from a sports in Athenry Ronnie came by in his car and insisted in driving me home to Ballyhaunis. It meant that he was having to make a round trip of 80 miles or more back to Galway to get me safely home. You never forget that type of friendship and kindness.
Ronnie was always greatly supportive of my efforts at Irish Runner Magazine right from the first issue in 1981. He was also a sincere friend to countless Irish athletes and for many years he put heart and soul into helping to promote all that is good in Irish Athletics.
A few lines from the Ewan MacColl song ‘The Joy Of Living’ may, I feel, bring some comfort to his family, Alan, Karen and Barry:
May your wings be strong – may your life be long- safe be your journey/
Each of you bears inside of you the gift of love/ May it
bring you light and warmth/ And the pleasure of GIVING/
Ronnie Long GAVE a whole lot of his time, energy, passion and expertise to Irish Athletics. The ever increasing number of kind comments about Ronnie on Facebook shows how much he was appreciated by so many. His was a helping hand that did not look for anything in return.
Ronnie Long found his JOY in GIVING.
God rest you Ronnie – a good man, gone home.