Taoiseach pays tribute to former GAA president Joe McDonagh

Taoiseach pays tribute to former GAA president Joe McDonagh

The Taoiseach has paid tribute to the former president of the GAA Joe McDonagh.

Mr McDonagh died yesterday after a short illness aged 63.

Enda Kenny has said McDonagh's charisma and leadership qualities were in evidence from their days in college together.

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

“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.”

Mr McDonagh was made famous for singing the ‘Wests Awake’ on winning the All-Ireland Hurling title with Galway in 1980.

He is survived by his wife Peig and three children.

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