The GAA world mourns the passing of former President Joe McDonagh

He famously sang 'The West's Awake' after winning the All-Ireland in 1980

BY Sinéad Farrell 10:34 Saturday 21 May 2016, 10:34 21 May 2016


Tributes continue to pour in, following the passing of former GAA president Joe McDonagh.

The Galway native, who served as the 32nd president of the association, died following a short illness. 

McDonagh made his senior hurling debut in 1974, before going on to achieve All-Ireland success in 1980, in which he famously followed Joe Connoly's speech with a powerful rendition of The West's Awake.
In total, he made 15 appearances for Galway before retiring in 1990. 
He went on to serve as GAA president between 1997 and 2000, in which he played a prominent role in pushing for the removal of Rule 21, which had banned members of the British security forces from becoming members of the association. 
 The rule was subsequently dropped in 2001. An official statement from the GAA reads:
"The death is announced of Joe McDonagh, Uachtarán CLG 1997-2000, after a short illness," an official GAA statement read tonight. "Deeply regretted by family, friends & GAA community."

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