Leinster Leader 12 March 1977
PROMINENT HUNTSMAN PASSES
THE LATE JACK HARTIGAN
The Taoiseach, Mr. Cosgrave, Dail and public representatives, and Kildare Hunt Club officers and members were among the huge attendance at the funeral on Sunday to St. Corban’s Cemetery, Naas, of the noted ex-huntsman of the “Killing Kildares” – Jack Hartigan of Jigginstown.
Jack, who gave legendary service with the Kildare hounds, took suddenly ill while visiting a house in Naas, and died within a short time on Thursday. He celebrated his 70th birthday only a few days previously.
A resourceful and faithful staff-man of the Hunt for many years, he was an outstanding horseman, and cut a fine figure in scarlet on hunting forays. His skill, sense of direction, and dependability were a byword, but on or off the hunting field he was cool and reticent, never flustered.
How that he is gone, many a story will be retold of his career, and of his dedication to the personnel and to the stock, equine and canine, down through the years. Numerous tributes were paid to him over the weekend. There were wreaths from the Hunt, from followers, Clubs with which he was associated, and friends, including a very appropriate one of scarlet flowers inscribed from the people of Bishopscourt and Johnstown-Kennedy.
The latter was a nostalgic gesture, recalling the golden era of hunting, from the founding days of the Hunt in the early nineteenth century by the late Mr. John Kennedy – later succeeded by his sons Sir Edward, and William, and an illustrious line of Masters and Joint Masters.
Sir John Kennedy’s great grand-daughter, Mrs. Patricia MacGillycuddy, Bishopscourt, Kill, an admirer of Jack’s prowess, said this week: “In all the years I do not think that hunting in Co. Kildare has ever had a better or more loyal servant”.
The late Mr. Hartigan was closely identified with sporting organisations, especially athletics and boxing. He was one of the most reliable supporters, always willing to share the spade work. It is virtually certain that the local clubs will decide to keep his memory evergreen by deciding on a tangible means of doing so, with a perpetual memorial trophy or shield.
Jack’s skill as a huntsman was all embracing, and few people were as expert in judging hunters and hounds.
The sympathy of all went out to his wife, May, sons John (England), Michael and Gerard; daughter, Mrs. Anne Kennedy, Kingsfurze, Naas, sister and brothers.
A warm tribute came this week from Mr. Thomas F. Long, Martinstown House, Curragh, Master of the Kildare Hounds from 1967 to 1976. He said: “It would be very hard to say anything that is not superlative about Jack Hartigan. He was a great friend and much more than a huntsman. I was privileged to have him as huntsman for nine seasons. His loss is tremendous to me and to my family”.