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Death of Joe McDonagh, R.I.P. 21-05-2016
Joe Mc Donagh.jpg
Death of Joe McDonagh, R.I.P. 

“There is widespread shock and sadness across the entire G.A.A. World, on the sudden death of our esteemed former President, Joe McDonagh”, stated Galway County G.A.A. Chairman, Noel Treacy, in a statement issued to-day, by Galway County G.A.A. Board.

“Our  Association  has  lost  one  of  its  most  affable,  popular  and  versatile  Members.  Joe McDonagh was an outstanding man and his loss is immeasurable” stated Chairman Treacy.

Joe McDonagh first came to public notice as a stylish under-age Hurler  in the  Coisde Iomána Divisional Games of the late 60’s. Graduating to the County Minor Team in 1970, he played at centre-half-forward against Cork,  in the All-Ireland Final. Two years later, he was wingback, when Galway won its first  All-Ireland Under-21 Final in 1972. 
He moved onto the Senior Team,  winning a  National Hurling League  Medal  in  1975  and  was  on  the  Team  beaten  by 
Kilkenny, in the 1975 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final.

In the interim years, he played both Fitzgibbon and Sigerson with N.U.I.G., before going on to become the Galway Captain, in the 1979 All-Ireland Senior Final. A year later, he was part of the  great  Galway  Team,  in  the  breakthrough  year  of  1980  and  we  will  never  forget  his rendition of the ‘West’s Awake’ after the presentation of the McCarthy Cup, to Joe Connolly on the Hogan Stand.  He also won two Railway Cup Medals with Connacht.

He played Club Hurling with Ballindereen, winning a County Junior Medal with them and only last week, he gave his final public oration at Lá na gClub there. An  accomplished Footballer, he played for his first Club, Cortoon Shamrocks and later with Barna, where he has lived over four decades.

A talented Teacher, he went into Administration in the 1990’s, later becoming the first ever Director General of Foras na Gaeilge, the first North-South Body established under the Good Friday Agreement. Later he became C.E.O. of Galway County V.E.C. and finally of the Mayo Sligo-Leitrim Education Board, from which he retired last year.

Off  the  Field,  Joe  McDonagh  was  as  equally  adept  as  on  the  Field.   He  was  both  a  Scór Competitor  and Administrator for  many  years. He  rose  through the  ranks to become  our National President in 1997 and played a major role in the development of our Association at National and International levels.

A  man  with  a  brilliant  mind,  an  Orator  and  Singer,  he  entertained  many  and  often.   A distinguished  Graduate  and  a  multi-Linguist,  his  sudden  passing  leaves  a  deep  void  in  our Association.

We express our deepest sympathy to his wife Peig, his Children Eoin, Muireann and Eilish, his wider Family and his many heartbroken Friends.
Fear don céad  scoth  ab ea  Joe McDonagh. Duine speisialta, fíor-Gael agus Gaelgóir  iontach agus Captaen agus Ceannaire cróga ab ea é. Ní  bheidh a leithéad  arís ann.

Ar Dheis Lámh Dé go raibh anam uasal Joe McDonagh.

Galway G.A.A. County Committee 
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