| 1.1°C Dublin

gilsenan one of meath's most cherished sons

Meath GAA people have been saddened by the death on Saturday of Mattie Gilsenan at the age of 98.

Mattie was an iconic figure in the county for a lifetime, from the time he led the Royals to only their second All-Ireland appearance in 1939, when they lost by two points to a magnificent Kerry team.

He led Leinster to Railway Cup success the following year, but had left the county panel when Meath finally made their All-Ireland breakthrough in 1949.

But Mattie never left Meath football – he was a selector for three All-Ireland victories, in 1949, '54 and '67, and was also a crucial figure in the back-room teams of Sean Boylan's era.

He was more than just a team mentor – many a Royal footballer learned a great deal in a personal capacity from Mattie Gilsenan, truly one of the most important figures in the history of Meath football.

Our sympathy goes out to his wife Eileen and his seven children.

Irish Independent