The founder of the Community Games in Ireland has died, it was announced today.
Joseph Connolly died at St James’s Hospital in Dublin yesterday. He was 86.
Mr Connolly pioneered the idea for an organisation to take children off the streets in his native Walkinstown, Dublin, in 1967.
The games are still held each year and a spokeswoman said Mr Connolly had given his life to the organisation.
She said that although he had been very ill he had still been very much aware of what was happening within the games.
She said Mr Connolly had seen the vital role that sport played in the lives of thousands of children.
The independent voluntary organisation – which prides itself on being non-political and non-sectarian – provides children and young people with the opportunity to experience a wide range of sporting and cultural activities.
It organises on four levels, area, county, provincial and national.
The voluntary organisation now claims 500,000 participants, 20,000 volunteers and 1.3 million supporters.