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O’Mahony ‘would do whatever it took to win’, funeral told



O’Mahony ‘would do whatever it took to win’, funeral told

The funeral of former GAA manager John O’Mahony has taken place in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.

The 71-year-old died at the weekend following an illness.

In a long and varied inter-county career, Mr O’Mahony masterminded Leitrim’s 1994 Connacht Football Championship win, as well as guiding Galway to two All-Ireland football titles in 1998 and 2001.

He also managed his native Mayo twice – from 1987 to 1991 and again from 2006 to 2010.

Mr O’Mahony worked as a teacher and, in later years, served as a Fine Gael TD and senator, between 2011 and 2020.

The funeral mass, at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Nathy, was celebrated by his brother, Fr Dan O’Mahony.

His other brother, Fr Stephen O’Mahony, and his brother-in-law, Fr Tommy Towey, were among the many concelebrants.

After an opening rendition of ‘The West’s Awake’, Mr O’Mahony’s grandchildren brought a number of gifts to the altar, signifying their grandfather’s life.

Among them was the Mayo jersey he wore as a player on the 1971 All-Ireland minor winning football team, his Oireachtas ID card, a crucifix blessed by Pope Francis, and a family photograph.

In his homily, Fr Stephen O’Mahony said his brother was a man of faith. He described him as someone who gave example by the way he lived.

He respected life “from the womb to the tomb” and demonstrated this in the interactions he had, with the many people he came in contact with:

“Pauper and prince got the same respect, and with that attitude, he was a life-giver,” the priest said.

Fr O’Mahony said that success was part of his brother’s life, but that this did not happen by chance.

It was allied to a fiercely competitive spirit, which he had displayed from childhood, even working out how best to get the ring from the traditional Halloween brack.

“He would do whatever it took to win. That famously meant attention to detail, where he often talked about the difference between success and failure, coming down to inches.”

Fr O’Mahony concluded by saying he was immensely proud to be known as John O’Mahony’s brother and that, of all his successes, the GAA luminary’s greatest joy came from his marriage and children.

President Michael D Higgins was represented at the service by Captain Paul O’Donnell.

Taoiseach Simon Harris and GAA President Jarlath Burns were also in attendance, along with countless sporting, political and community figures.

Mr O’Mahony is survived by his wife, Geraldine, their five daughters and eleven grandchildren.

He was laid to rest following the funeral mass in Kilcolman Cemetery.

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