The death of Paddy McFlynn, a former Ulster and National President of the GAA has been learned of with deep regret in Donegal.
The Ulster Council of the GAA issued a statement regretting his passing, with Martin McAviney President of Ulster GAA commenting: “Paddy McFlynn was an iconic Ulster and National GAA figure, a GAA giant who had given over 80 years of volunteer service to our Association. Always evident was his immense pride in both the O’Donovan Rossa GAA Magherafelt (Derry) where he was a founding member at the age of 16 and his later club Tullylish GAA (Down) where he served as Club President. He was also a lifelong Irish language enthusiast who strongly promoted the language throughout the Association in his various roles.”
He served the Association in various positions starting out in a County GAA leadership position at the age of 23 when he was elected Secretary of Derry County GAA in 1940. He moved to County Down to take up a teaching position later in his life and served many roles within the County including that of President of Down County GAA.
His outstanding service to the Ulster Council GAA as a delegate for both Derry and Down, Treasurer from 1947 until 1954, Vice President from 1958 until 1960 and President of the Ulster Council from 1961 until 1963.
McAvinney added: “Paddy McFlynn, however made his greatest contribution in the leadership of the GAA as President from 1979 until 1982. He was in office at a time when the days were difficult but like all other aspects of Paddy’s life he dealt with the challenges faced by the GAA at that time both with courage and courtesy.
“We will miss his wisdom, friendship, advice and leadership but above all we morn the passing of a good man whose integrity and vision leaves a strong legacy for us and the next generation of GAA members.”
GAA President’s tribute
GAA President Liam Ó Néill has extended the sympathies of the Association to the family and friends of Paddy McFlynn who passed away after an illness on Tuesday night.
Mr McFlynn, who served as Uachtarán between 1979 and 1982, was a respected administrator serving the GAA in numerous capacities over a distinguished involvement with the GAA.
The GAA President said: “He was a wise, fatherly figure whose kind presence was noted by so many across all levels of the Association.
“He was keenly involved in our activities right up until the end, not least with the publishing of his book which is an important work given the time span and the events it captures.
“He was erudite, interesting and intelligent man who will be sorely missed by all of those who came across him, not least his family and wide circle of friends and admirers.”