Knight Commander of St Gregory (Knight 30 January, 1995; promoted to Commander 3 April, 2003).
James Stanislaus Cosgrove, always known as Stan, was born (September 3 1927 - 29 August 2019) at Newbridge, Co Kildare, one of six children of a GP who also ran a pharmacy. After schooling at Newbridge College, he went to University College Dublin to read Veterinary Medicine, qualifying in 1952. Having established himself in general practice in Kildare, in the early 1960s Cosgrove began to specialise in equine medicine and was soon in demand among the leading Irish stud farms and training stables.
Stan was one of the most eminent vets in horse racing, and became known to the wider world in the aftermath of the kidnapping of the great dual Derby winner Shergar. Cosgrove served as a Turf Club steward in Ireland. He also served as president and chairman of the Irish Thoroughbreeders’ Association. He was elected a president of the British Equine Veterinary Association, only the second Irishman to fill the role, the first being his cousin Maxie Cosgrove. He was noted for his generosity and sense of fun. In old age he discarded his sober suits in favour of pink or yellow trousers or shirts. He enjoyed a drink and smoked only Cuban cigars. He is said to have written off dozens of cars in the course of his long life. His papal knighthood was presented by Bishop Jim Moriarty at the Kildare Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE). A special mass was celebrated by the bishop at RACE on July 4 to mark the occasion. The bishop said the award was well deserved in recognition of Mr Cosgrove’s work. He said he was a great family man and it was great to see so many of his relations attending.
Stan Cosgrove married, in 1956, Maureen Keenan, with whom he had six daughters and four sons. Maureen died in 1997, and their children survive him.