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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 2 April, 2020

'You were a true son of Down': Two-time All-Ireland winner passes away aged 55

Eamonn Burns managed Down to the Ulster final in 2017.

Former Down manager Eamonn Burns.
Former Down manager Eamonn Burns.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

TWO-TIME ALL-Ireland winner and former Down boss Eamonn Burns has died aged 55. 

Burns recently managed Down between 2016 and 2018, leading them to the provincial final in 2017, while he also served as a selector under James McCartan earlier in the decade. 

On the field, Burns enjoyed a distinguished playing career. He won two All-Irelands with Down, scoring two points from play in the 1991 victory over Meath that delivered the Sam Maguire to an Ulster county for the first time in 23 years. 

In 1994, he lined out at wing-back as the Mourne men defeated Dublin in the final. At the drawn All-Ireland final last month, that Down team were introduced to the crowd as part of the jubilee celebrations.

“To his wife Sinead, sons Cathal and Thomas, brothers Malachy and Colum and sister Mary we extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy,” a Down GAA statement read. 

“Eamonn was a great ambassador for Down as a player and as a manager. He was one of the good guys, always about the greater good, always selfless with his time and only wanting to give of his best in any task that he undertook.

“Down GAA have been privileged to have Eamonn Burns amongst our sons, he gave us as supporters many magical moments, he brought a smile to our faces and in those days of 1991 and 1994 he helped bring us glory days.

“Eamonn has been taken from us too soon, we will miss you Eamonn but we will smile in the memory of the days that you gave us. You were a true son of Down.

“Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

A Ryan Cup game scheduled for earlier today involving Queen’s University Belfast and St Mary’s was postponed as a mark of respect for Burns’ passing. 

Former Meath star Bernard Flynn, who played against Down in the 1991 All-Ireland final, was among those to offer condolences on social media.

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Kevin O'Brien

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