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Former GAA President Joe McDonagh has passed away.

Former GAA President Joe McDonagh has passed away.

Joe McDonagh 'leaves a lasting legacy'


ByCianO'Connell


AlightwentoutinIrishsportwiththesadpassingofformerGAAPresidentJoeMcDonagh.

WhetheritwassearchingformedalsorattendingmeetingsseekingtoimproveaffairsJoeMcDonaghalwaysmattered.

AsportingjourneywhichcommencedintheBallindereenshirtincludedglorywithConnacht,UCG,andGalway.

FittinglyJoeMcDonagh’slastdaysasaplayerwerespentwiththeclubalongsidehissonEoin,whocaptainedtheTribesmenintheAllIrelandminordeciderof1997.

BythenJoeMcDonaghwasthePresidentoftheGAAhavingmadearichcontributionthroughoutthedecadesinavarietyofroles.

JoeConnollylocatedthecorrectwordstotrulyreflectGalway’sdelightatendinga57yearsearchforLiamMcCarthyin1980,hisfriendandcolleaguesubsequentlyprovidedastirringrenditionofTheWest’sAwake. ItremainsaniconicGAAimage.

JoeConnolly,formerUCGandGalwaycolleague


“Wegobackalongway,morethan40yearsnowIsuppose. WeplayedtogetherforUCGwinningthe1977Fitzgibbon,theywerereallywonderfuldays. 

“WithGalwaythenwehadtheagonyandecstasyofsomanydaystogether. Wehadgooddaysandbaddays,butonethingwealwayshadweregreatnights. Joewascentraltothat. LikealotofthehurlersIplayedwithatthattimehewasgreatcraicandfantasticcompany.

“JoehadasuperbhurlingcareerandplayedinaswellaknownlineasGalwayeverhadinhistory. JoeMcDonagh,SeanSilke,andIggyClarkewereunbelievableplayersduringawonderfuleraforGalway.

“Attimeslikethisyoulookbackonthebrilliantsocialnights,andofcoursehewillberememberedforwhathappenedafterthe1980AllIrelandfinal. Itwasamemorableoccasion.

“Heleavesalastinglegacyinsomanyways,hewasjustasupertalentinwhateverhedid. Hewasabrilliantlinguistwithmusicandsingingabilitytoo. Hispersonalitywasmagnetic,whenhefinishedhewentintoadministrationgoingallthewaytoPresident."

*AogánÓFearghail,UachtaránChumannLúthchleasGael *

“JoewasheldinextremelyhighregardandhiscompanywasenjoyedbysomanyoverthecourseofhislonginvolvementwiththeGAAinsomanydifferentcapacities,notleastasPresidentfrom1997to2000.

“HeandhistenureleftanindeliblemarkonCumannLúthchleasGaelandhispassionforourgamesandactivitieswasonlymatchedbyhispassionfortheIrishlanguage.

“HealsohadaprofoundinterestinourinternationalnetworkandthefurtherexpansionoftheGAAoverseas.

“HewillbesorelymissedandIwouldliketooffermysympathiestohiswifePeig,hisfamilyandhiswidecirclesoffriendsandadmirers.”

BrianFahy,formerSalthill-KnocknacarraGAAClubChairmanandteachingcolleagueatColaisteEinde


“Joewassuchagreatfella,hewasaoneinamilliontypeofguy. WhenIstartedteachingIjustfoundhimareallyinspiringfigure,notonlyinGAAterms,butinthewayhecarriedhimself. Joewasabrilliantcommunicator,hewasabeaconoflightinourschool.

“Hewasapastpupil,andhebroughtalottothetableinwhateverhedid. Whatalwaysstruckmewashisgreatloveoflanguageandlearning,hewasatremendousleader. Hehadtremendousqualities,butmostofallhewaspassionateandinfectious. 

“You’dalwayslearnsomethingwhenyoureflectedonaconversationyouhadwithhim. HeislookeduponasagreatleaderintheGAAandrightlyso. Joeisheldinhugeesteem,andanytimeItravelledabroadthepeopleheldhiminhugeesteem.

“JoecouldrelatetothePresidentofIrelandandhecouldalsomakethesocalledordinarymanfeelgoodaboutthemselves,hiswordscarriedsomuchmeaning. Hewasaveryinnovativeperson,hewasabletogetthingsovertheline. Inourschoolthreepicturesareevidentwhenyoucomeinsidethedoor,BrendanO’hEithir,EndaColleran,andJoeMcDonagh."

SeanWalsh,GalwayBayFMHurlingCorrespondent

“Maybethephraseissometimesoverused,butJoeMcDonaghreallyisaniconicfigureforGalwaypeople. Ofcourse1980hasgonedowninGAAfolklore,butJoeMcDonaghdidsomuch. Helivedthedreamreallystartingoffhittingasliotaragainstthewall,toplayingforGalway,andthenwinninganAllIrelandsingingonthestepsoftheHoganStand.

“Afterhisplayingcareerhehadsuchsuccess,endingupasPresidentoftheGAA. Youcouldn’tscriptit. HewillalwaysbefondlyrememberedinGalway."

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