Fanning was 'inspiration'
Published 15/03/2010 | 05:00
GAA President Christy Cooney has led the tributes to former GAA President, Pat Fanning, who died yesterday morning.
Born in 1918, Fanning played inter-county hurling with Waterford at every level and won seven county titles with Mount Sion.
However, it was as an administrator that he became best known, holding top positions at county and national level before reaching the pinnacle of his career when he took over as President in 1970.
He presided over the historic Congress which removed the controversial 'Ban' in 1971.
It was one of the defining moments in Irish sporting history as, prior to that, GAA members who played, or supported 'foreign' games in any way were liable to be suspended.
Cooney described the late Fanning as an inspirational figure whose contribution to the GAA could never be fully quantified.
"He had an active role at every level of the Association both before and after serving as Association President. He showed real leadership qualities in the three years that he served in that position, which was a challenging time for the Association, and he made an immense contribution to the GAA over a prolonged period.
"Of course his involvement with the GAA started with the games and his record, most notably with his club Mount Sion, is a proud one.
"On behalf of the Association as a whole I would like to take this opportunity to offer our condolences to the Fanning family and Waterford GAA on their loss."