John O’Mahony had a stellar GAA career, securing notable success as a coach/manager not just in his native Mayo but also in Galway and Leitrim. Photo: Sportsfile

Connacht GAA pays tribute to Mayo great John O'Mahony

Connacht GAA has paid tribute to Mayo sporting great John O'Mahony after news emerged of his death earlier today.

John was a former member of the Connacht GAA Council, serving as the colleges representative, while he also managed the Connacht interprovincial team.

The provincial council said: “It is with great sadness that Connacht GAA has learned of the passing of John O'Mahony of Ballaghaderreen GAA Club and Mayo.

“John was an innovative manager and coach who saw success with many different teams. He managed his school, St. Nathy’s College, to an All-Ireland Senior B title in 1999. At just 30 years of age, he successfully managed Mayo to an Under 21 All-Ireland title in 1983 and led Mayo to the All-Ireland senior final in 1989.

“In 1994, he led Leitrim to their first Connacht title in 67 years. He finally saw All-Ireland senior success with Galway in 1998 and again in 2001.

“As a manager, he won Connacht titles in 1988, 1989 and 2009 with Mayo; in 1994 with Leitrim; and in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2003 with Galway.

“John was also a strong advocate of the province outside football and served the people of Mayo as a member of the Dáil from 2007 until 2016 and as a member of Seanad Éireann from 2016 until 2020.

“John was a tremendously generous person with his time and often assisted Connacht GAA with our match streaming as a co-commentator, most recently in Philly McGuinness Park, Mohill, for the Connacht B Under 20 final with John Lynch. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of GAA in the province and country.”

Connacht GAA president Vincent Neary said: “I have a long association with Johnno going back to my school days, when he taught me in St. Nathy’s and coached me as a footballer. In later years, as a player, I often came up against his Ballaghaderreen teams.

“I’d like to highlight his enormous contribution to the GAA in the province, successfully managing three different counties to success – a feat unlikely to be repeated.

“Many of his former players went on to manage teams successfully; in fact, all five Connacht counties have had managers who were previously coached by Johnno. I’d also like to acknowledge his contribution to the council as a colleges representative.

“News of Johnno’s passing has stunned us all and to his wife Geraldine, his daughters Grainne, Niamh, Rhona, Deirdre and Cliodhna, his brothers Fr. Stephen and Fr. Dan, and the wider Towey and O'Mahony families I’d like to extend the deepest sympathies of Connacht GAA.”