Jim Gallagher (84), a Donegal and Ulster football legend, passed away this morning at Sligo Regional Hospital.
Affectionately known as ‘The Natch’, he achieved at the highest level as a player and a manager and in later life served at officer level in his local GAA club, Aodh Ruadh, until his death as club president.
Donegal captain when they made the breakthrough to win the Dr Lagan Cup in 1952, Jim Gallagher was a teak tough centre -half back who had a remarkable ability to jump more than his own height from a standing start to fetch a ball.
He managed the famous St Joesph’s club to two unofficial Ulster titles in 1966 and 1967 and was also a backroom team member with Donegal’s senior footballers. As a manager with the Ballyshannon/Bundoran combination, St Joseph’s, winners of the unofficial club all Ireland title, he also enjoyed remarkable success.
Gallagher won a Donegal SFC with Aodh Ruadh in 1951, a year before captaining Donegal to that Lagan Cup breakthrough and also played Railway Cup football for Ulster. His inter-county career spanned from 1948 to 1959.
A proud Ballyshannon man, his tussles with the Gaoth Dobhair teams of the ‘40s and ‘50s were memorable. He assisted at all levels for his local club, from under 12 to senior.
He was an Aodh Ruadh Hall of Fame winner.
Tragedy struck the family in June when he lost his wife Ethna in a tragic road accident at Cliffoney, Co. Sligo, in June 2012.
He is survived by his daughter Fiona, sons Eunan, Brian and Turlough and his grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements later.