Tributes were being paid today to chairman of the Dublin GAA County Board, Andy Kettle, who has died following a short illness.
Mr Kettle (68) was just re-elected unopposed for his fifth successive year as county chairman on Monday night and was also elected to the Central Council of the GAA.
The popular Dubliner died at Beaumont Hospital yesterday evening where he was undergoing treatment for cancer.
His son Peter told the Herald “he will be greatly missed” adding that he “loved his club and the GAA”.
Tributes also poured in from across the GAA community.
Dublin football manager Jim Gavin paid tribute, saying that Andy fought his illness bravely.
“Andy was devoted to the Gaelic Athletic Association. He leaves behind a legacy of service and influence in the GAA,” he said.
“We had a very open and honest relationship with Andy. He was a man of integrity. He was very principled,” Mr Gavin added.
“Everything that Andy did was totally focused on the best for Dublin GAA and the association at large, and to that end, he attended our training sessions, he attended team meetings, he came with the players on the bus, he was in the dressing room at our shoulder in victory and defeat,” he explained.
Dubs star Bernard Brogan also paid tribute to him today.
“Andy, our county board chairman, was a gent and a true blue, RIP Andy,” he tweeted.
Brogan’s team mate Paul Flynn described Mr Kettle as “a gentleman and a great GAA man”, adding “may he rest in peace”. Former player Paul Clarke also paid tribute saying he was a “brilliant worker, ambassador and representative of Dublin GAA” adding that his death was a “big loss”.
Meanwhile, Group Editor-In-Chief of Independent News and Media Stephen Rae said Andy had a vision for the county which has been reflected in Dublin’s success on the field.
“Andy also had great affability which made a great negotiator on behalf of the County Board”, he said.
“The close bond between the Herald and Dublin GAA was strengthened during Andy’s tenure as chairman.
“On behalf of all our editorial team who dealt with Andy on a regular basis I would like to pass on our deepest condolences to his family,” Mr Rae added.
Mr Kettle presided over a hugely-successful era for Dublin GAA teams in both football and hurling.
His tenure as chairman saw the senior football team lift the Sam Maguire cup twice in 2011 and 2013.
He grew up on his parents farm in Warblestown where he worked part-time. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, three sons, three daughters and four grandchildren.
Mr Kettle worked in the commercial advertising department of the Irish Times until his retirement.
“He was enormously proud of his great grand-uncle Tom,” Mr Kettle’s son Peter added.
Tom Kettle was a politician, poet, patriot and MP for Dublin when he was killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
His statue stands in Stephen’s Green.