Son of ex Harrington caddie jailed

Dublin's Evening Herald reports that Stephen O'Reilly, son of the late John O'Reilly, has been jailed for six years for robbery and other offences.

Known as "Irish John", O'Reilly Snr caddied for Peter Townsend and Des Smyth in the 70s and 80s before helping Padraig Harrington take his first steps on tour between 1996 to 1999.

He made a brief comeback on Eamonn Darcy's bag in the 2000 Irish Open at Ballybunion and wrote 'The Life of O'Reilly' with the help of Ivan Morris, which recounted tales from his 30-odd years on tour.

Harrington said: "He might have liked a drink and stayed out late, but he was never late for work and he never once let me down."

O'Reilly passed away last November and Ivan Morris penned this tribute to him in the Limerick Leader.

Morris wrote: 

John's one regret was that he never carried the bag of Ernie Els, who had promised it to him several times, but a suitably convenient occasion never materialized. Apres le golf in faraway places, Ernie regularly sought out Johnny for a few relaxing beers and a chat about 'anything but golf.' 

Johnny's loyalty, can-do attitude and unique ability to make people laugh were the main reasons why he lasted so long on Tour. 

During the McManus Classics and Irish Opens Johnny was often seen as the life and soul of the party in Paddy Collins's Pub in Adare leading the reveling touring pros, including Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Philip Walton of whom he was a particular favorite. 

Paddy Harrington (Padraig's late father) knew what he was doing when he cajoled O'Reilly out of retirement in 1996.  He wanted an experienced hand to show his rookie son the ropes by guiding him around Europe safely.