Sunday 21 July 2019

Meath GAA great Frankie Byrne passes away aged 94

Stock photo: Sportsfile
Stock photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Meath GAA is in mourning following the death of Frankie Byrne at the age of 94.

One of the county’s great stalwarts in an inter-county career that ran from 1943 to 1955, he played at right half-forward on the team that won Meath’s first All-Ireland senior title in 1949, beating  Cavan in the final.

He retired from the inter-county scene in 1953 and became a selector but made a return to playing in 1954, winning a second All-Ireland medal as a sub on the team  that beat Kerry  in the final. He won National League medals in 1946 and 1951 and a Railway Cup medal with Leinster in 1945.

He later became involved in off-field activities as senior selector, including  a spell with Sean Boylan, and trainer of the Meath minor team that won the 1957 All-Ireland final.

He was very much to the fore when the GAA launched a national coaching drive in the 1970s, working with the likes of Jim McKeever (Derry), Joe Lennon (Down) and Dr Mick Loftus (Mayo).

A hugely popular figure well beyond his native county, he was a regular on the Jimmy Magee All Star fund-raising teams for many years.  Proficient in several sports, including golf, he was a member of Royal Dublin.

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