THE death has occurred of Bertie Coleman, one of the best known figures in Galway GAA and a man who is acknowledged as being one of the masterminds behind the launch of the All-Ireland club championships.
A member of the famous Dunmore MacHales club, with whom he played for many years before going on to fill every key administrative role over several decades, he was also a major figure on the county scene.
He was a selector when Galway won the All-Ireland football three-in-a-row in 1964-65-66 while also being actively involved with the great Dunmore team that included John and Pat Donnellan, John and Tommy Keenan and Seamus Leydon.
He continued to serve as a Galway selector at various times up to 1984 and was also a member of the Galway Football Board.
His determination to expand club competition beyond local boundaries saw him heavily involved in the organisation of an unofficial Connacht championship in the 1960s while he also pushed the idea in the national corridors of powers.
He formally proposed the launch of the club championships on behalf of Dunmore and Galway at the 1970 Congress and while there was some heavyweight oppositions, it was passed by 92 votes to 74 and was added to the GAA calendar the following year.
In his eighties, he was Galway County Board President at the time of his death.