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Dublin: 11°C Monday 8 March 2021

Former GAA president and Galway hurling star Joe McDonagh dies

“Galway has lost a hero,” said An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.

Joe McDonagh 16/4/199 Joe McDonagh pictured at the 1999 Congress. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

FORMER PRESIDENT OF the GAA, Joe McDonagh, has died.

The Galway native led the Association between 1997 and 2000.

He also won a senior All-Ireland hurling championship in the famous victory of 1980.

After Joe Connolly’s famous speech with the Liam MacCarthy, McDonagh led the crowd in a rendition of The West’s Awake.

Source: sceilig/YouTube

The news of comes less than a fortnight after the death of his predecessor in Croke Park, Jack Boothman, who served as GAA president from 1994 to 1997.

“I knew Joe McDonagh well since our college days where his charisma and leadership qualities were clearly in evidence from early on,” An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said in a statement.

“Joe had exquisite Irish and was one of the greatest speakers of our native tongue that I’ve ever heard In rising through the ranks of GAA administration and reaching the heights of Uachtarán CLG Joe focused always on bringing young people with him, giving them the leadership and encouragement they needed.

“Joe isn’t as renowned for his footballing prowess as his hurling but he was equally as adept with the big ball as the small. My sincerest sympathies go to his wife Peig and three children at this very sad time.

“He was a proud Ballinderreen man and while his club has lost a champion, Galway has lost a hero.”

More to follow

‘Joe got 4 good years out of me as a manager, surely to God he should leave me alone as a pundit’

‘I was contemplating getting on the next plane home,’ but now Louth star is living his AFL dream

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