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'One of our greatest Gaels' - tributes paid after death of Armagh All-Star and Ulster-winning captain

Colm McKinstry was on the 1977 All-Ireland final team, a 1980 All-Star and Armagh captain in 1982.

Updated Aug 10th 2021, 3:00 PM

ARMAGH ALL-STAR and Ulster championship-winning captain Colm McKinstry has died.

Hailed as โ€˜one of our greatest Gaelsโ€™ by Armagh GAA, the county confirmed the news in a heartfelt statement last night.

McKinstry, of the Clan na Gael club in Lurgan, established himself as one of the most famous ever players to line out for the Orchard county after joining the senior panel in 1968.

He went on to form a renowned โ€“ and formidable โ€“ midfield partnership with Joe Kernan that helped the side to three Ulster titles, and Division 2 and 3 National League honours, in the late 1970s and early 80s.

He was a central pillar of the team as Armagh reached the 1977 All-Ireland final โ€“ though just their second decider appearance in their history at the time ended in defeat to Dublin. McKinstry lined out alongside clubmates Jimmy Smyth, Jim McKerr and Noel Oโ€™Hagan that day.

In 1980, he won his All-Star โ€“ the countyโ€™s fifth at the time โ€“ after helping his side to the last four. He lifted the Ulster championship crown, the Anglo Celt Cup, in 1982.

McKinstry was a massive figure for his club, excelling for Clan na Gael between 1967 and 1985. In that period, they won three Ulster titles and contested the 1974 All-Ireland final.

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He also represented Ulster in the Railway Cup in the late 70s and when his playing days ended, he managed his own club. He steered them to the county final in 2006, the last time they reached that stage.

โ€œThe Armagh and wider GAA family are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Colm McKinstry, one of our greatest Gaels,โ€ Armagh chairman Michael Savage said, payind tribute to the late McKinstry.

โ€œColm was a member of the 1977 All-Ireland final team, an All-Star recipient in 1980 and Armagh captain when he proudly lifted the Anglo Celt Cup in 1982. He was a renowned player for his county and club Clan na Gael for many years and a highly respected player and manager by all Gaels.

โ€œOn behalf of Contae Ard Mhacha, we extend our sincere and most heartfelt condolences to his wife Nuala, daughters Niamh, Grainne and Eimear, the wider family circle, to his fellow players, friends and members of Clan na Gael. Ar dheis Dรฉ go raibh a anam.โ€

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