Saturday 21 September 2019

Horan leads the tributes to GAA stalwarts O'Shea and Hegarty

GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile
GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

GAA President John Horan has led tributes to two GAA stalwarts, Jerome O'Shea (Kerry) and Liam Hegarty (Donegal), who have passed away.

O'Shea, whose son Conor is a former Irish rugby international and the current head coach with Italy, was a member of the St Mary's club in Cahersiveen, where his exploits brought him to the attention of the Kerry selectors.

He went on to win seven Munster Senior Football Championships and three All-Ireland senior medals, in 1953, '55 and 59.

He was a substitute on the 1953 team that beat Armagh and filled the right corner-back position on the teams that won the 1955 and 1959 titles, beating Dublin and Galway respectively in the finals. He also won a National League medal in 1959.

After his retirement, he presented RTE's first weekly Gaelic Games TV show, 'GAA World of Sport'. O'Shea also served as an economic advisor of the Irish government at the EEC and United Nations.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret and sons Diarmuid, Donal and Conor.

Hegarty was a major figure in the GAA community in North America, especially in Philadelphia. He also served as chairman of the Continental Youth Championships.

Giants

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"Our Association is mourning the passing of two giants of Gaelic games in the last few days," said GAA President Horan.

"Kerry's rich footballing history is full of players who were famous far beyond the borders of the Kingdom for their class and style, and Jerome O'Shea was one such hero of the green and gold.

"He made his mark on the field as a great player and was equally held in high regard off it, where his contribution to the promotion of the game was immense.

"It was only last weekend that I had the pleasure of being in Liam Hegarty's company in Philadelphia on the PwC All-Star tour to the city, where his influence was obvious on the thriving GAA presence in the region.

"He was the ultimate volunteer; always looking for ways to make a positive impact and to help serve others and he worked tirelessly for the Irish community.

"The GAA benefited hugely from the lifetime of friendship and loyalty that we enjoyed from Jerome O'Shea and Liam Hegarty and we are all the better for having had them in our sporting family. We owe them both a debt of gratitude."

Irish Independent

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