Paddy Buggy, whose death has taken place at the age of 84, was a member of a select group of All-Ireland medal-winners who served as President of the GAA.
He was a native of Slieverue, Kilkenny, close to the border with Waterford and he won his only senior hurling medal with the Cats against the Déise in 1957, after he had been a sub for the losing final of 1950 against Tipperary. He also played in the 1959 decider when Waterford were triumphant in a replay.
President Liam O’Neill led the tributes to him yesterday recalling how the late Buggy served the association with distinction as a player, manager and administrator and noted his Presidency coincided with the GAA Centenary year in 1984.
“I had the privilege of knowing Paddy personally. He was a kind, gentle man who was a great President,” he added.
For former Director General Liam Mulvihill, Buggy was the second of 10 Presidents he worked with.
“Paddy was a warm person, very caring and very much a family man. He was a passionate Kilkenny man, you’d know, if you sat beside him at a hurling game, and it was ironic that he lived all his life just across the bridge on the outskirts of Waterford!”
Winning a county junior hurling medal in 1950, he was a member of the only Slieverue team to win a Kilkenny senior title in 1957. He played senior for the county from 1949 to 1960, won five provincial medals and in 1954 was on the Leinster team which won the Railway Cup title for the first time since 1941.
Having served as Leinster chairman from 1978 to 1980, he was chosen as President-elect at the 1981 Congress in Killarney after being elected in a cliff-hanger on the fourth count after defeating Dr Mick Loftus, 145/136. Among five other candidates were New York supremo John Kerry O’Donnell — who received 17 votes in the first count.
A year later, he took over from Paddy McFlynn at annual congress, held in St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny. He filled the position of county chairman for one year, in 1990.
Notably, he was one of only three Presidents elected at the first attempt over the past 30 years, the others being Sean Kelly in 2002 and Nicky Brennan three years later.
* Reposing at Powers Funeral Home, Ferrybank today from 2pm with removal at 7pm to the Sacred Heart Church, Ferrybank. Requiem Mass tomorrow at 2pm followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.
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