Saturday 19 January 2019

Louth GAA in mourning following the sudden death of ladies manager Micheál McKeown

Tomás ó Sé: There are horror stories out there of young players being pulled from their clubs for these elite squads
Tomás ó Sé: There are horror stories out there of young players being pulled from their clubs for these elite squads Newsdesk Newsdesk

Louth ladies football manager Michéal McKeown has died aged 67 after a short illness.

The Channonrock native, who was preparing his side for a Leinster Junior Championship opener with Kilkenny on Sunday, was taken ill at his home on Sunday morning and died at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda yesterday.

A statement from the Louth LGFA read: "A Chara, it is with great regret that I bring you the sad news of the untimely passing of Micheál McKeown Louth LGFA Senior Team manager today. We pass our condolences to his wife Mary, his family circle,and his many friends at this very sad time."

Louth ladies County Board chairman Dermot Woods described McKeown as 'a bubbly character and was always in good form'.

He told the Dundalk Democrat: "He was hugely popular among the players and his death will have come as a huge shock. He had huge enthusiasm, he was a bubbly character and was always in good form.

"He took training as recently as Friday night and he was in touch with some of the players as late as Saturday evening to make sure that everybody was in good form and ready for Sunday. He was actually preparing for the match on Sunday when he suddenly took ill.

"I always found him to be a man of great integrity, a man of honesty, a man who was determined to get whatever he could for the players. The players always came first for him. He was a top guy to deal with and I never had a problem with him. I can only say good things about him."

He took over as Louth manager last October and a had a big reputation in the game having led Monaghan to an All-Ireland title in 1996.

A former player with Fane Rangers, he later managed Westerns and Annaghminnon Rovers in Louth, and Killanny Geraldines, Cremartin and Ballybay in Monaghan, while also fulfilling Coaching & Games roles in both counties.

He led Louth to the Lidl National Football League Division Four final last month only to lose to Wicklow.

"He would have had a big influence on the team because within eight months he had them in the National League final," Woods added.

"They didn't perform on the day, but he vowed after the final that they would learn from that and you could see the improvement in the team on Sunday. He had done so much work on the training ground.

"His passing remains a shock because everyone had hoped that he would pull through."

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