Sunday 23 July 2017

Colleagues and rivals to honour Joe

Former GAA President Joe McDonagh Picture: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Former GAA President Joe McDonagh Picture: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

He was a larger-than-life character as a player and later as an administrator, which took him all the way to the GAA presidency, and now his former colleagues at NUIG (or UCG as it was called in his days) are planning a night to honour Joe McDonagh, who died last May.

It coincides with NUIG's hosting of this year's independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup later this month and the organisers are keen to contact as many as possible of the players who lined out with and against Joe during his days in UCG, where he played hurling and football.

He featured on several college teams in both codes, with the highlight coming in 1977 when UCG won the Fitzgibbon Cup.

It was a team with several big leaders. Joe captained Galway in 1979 when they lost to Kilkenny in the 1979 All-Ireland final; Joe Connolly was captain a year later when they ended a 57-year wait for an All-Ireland title with a team managed by Cyril Farrell (corner-forward on the 1977 Fitzgibbon Cup team). Pat Fleury (Offaly), another of Joe's colleagues in 1977, captained Offaly to All-Ireland success in 1985, while Conor Hayes led Galway to the All-Ireland double in 1987-'88.

The night to honour McDonagh's memory is on Friday, February 24 at the Westwood Hotel, Galway and former colleagues and rivals who want to attend can get full details from Mártan O Ciardha on 087-2423600.

Irish Independent

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