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John O’Mahony dead: Taoiseach leads tributes to GAA ‘hero’ and Fine Gael TD

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GAA managerial legend and former Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony has died aged 71.

Tributes from across Irish political as well as sporting life are pouring in for the “gentleman” this afternoon.

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Pictured in May 2023 as part of a commemoration for Galway’s All-Ireland success 25 years previously
Lifting the Sam Maguire after defeating Kildare in the 1998 All-Ireland football decider

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Lifting the Sam Maguire after defeating Kildare in the 1998 All-Ireland football decider
Alongside Tribe captain Gary Fahey as they prepared to head home with the Sam Maguire Cup after their 2001 triumph

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Alongside Tribe captain Gary Fahey as they prepared to head home with the Sam Maguire Cup after their 2001 triumph
Taoiseach Simon Harris released a statement paying tribute to the Mayo native

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Taoiseach Simon Harris released a statement paying tribute to the Mayo nativeCredit: PA

Taoiseach Simon Harris has led them with the following statement released through his press office.

It read: “It is with great sadness that I today learned of the death of our colleague and friend John O’Mahony.

“John was a sporting hero, a champion and a gentleman.

“On the sporting field, John left a stunning legacy in Mayo, Leitrim and Galway, where they still talk about his All-Ireland wins of ‘98 and ‘01.

“He was a leader, he made people believe in their own abilities and he delivered at the highest levels.

“On the political field, John’s determination to deliver was no less fierce than in sport.

“He was decent, hardworking, effective and respected.

“On a personal level, John was an established TD when I first entered the Dail in 2011 and like many colleagues, his quiet and assured support and word in the ear to ‘keep the faith’ was invaluable.

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“The Fine Gael family has lost a great friend and colleague.

“The people of the West of Ireland have lost an incredible advocate and champion.

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“To his wife Gerardine, his five daughters and his grandchildren, I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“May he rest in peace.”

Galway GAA added: “John O’Mahony, R.I.P.

“We are deeply saddened to share the news that our former All-Ireland winning football manager has passed away.

“John guided Galway to the 1998 and 2001 All-Ireland SFC titles during a wonderful era for Galway football. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

The Kilmovee man was an innovative manager and coach who saw success with many different teams.

He managed his school, St Nathy’s College, to an All-Ireland Senior B title in 1999.

At just 30 years of age, he successfully managed Mayo to an Under-21 All-Ireland Title in 1983 and led Mayo to the All-Ireland Final in 1989.

He had been suffering from a cancer of the blood since 2020

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He had been suffering from a cancer of the blood since 2020

In 1994, he led Leitrim to their first Connacht title in 67 years.

He finally saw All-Ireland senior success with Galway in 1998 and again in 2001.

As a manager, he won Connacht titles in 1988, 1989, and 2009 with Mayo; in 1994 with Leitrim; and in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003 with Galway.

John was also a strong advocate for the province outside football and served the people of Mayo as a member of the Dáil from 2007 until 2016 and as a member of Seanad Éireann from 2016 until 2020.

He was a former member of the Connacht Council GAA, serving as the Colleges representative on the Council.

In addition, he also managed the Connacht interprovincial team.

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