The late Sean Calleary, who passed away at the weekend aged 86, left behind an immense legacy, says Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane.
Ruane says his fellow Ballina RFC clubman had represented the west of Ireland "to the highest standard through sport and his contribution to Irish public service".
A former president of the Connacht Branch of the IRFU and his local club Ballina RFC, Sean Calleary was also a key player for Connacht in the fifties when forced to play under an assumed name due the ban on GAA members playing foreign sports. He was a member of the Connacht team that defeated Ulster in Ravenhill - a feat that has not been repeated in 60 years - having also played for Garbally College, University College Galway, and Galwegians RFC.
During this time Sean also played junior football with Mayo, and in later years became a Mayo GAA selector.
Off the field Sean Calleary, the Fianna Fail politician, represented the Mayo East constituency from 1973 to 1992, and held several cabinet posts including Minister of State at the Department of Public Service from 1979 to 1981, at the Department of Trade, Commerce and Tourism in 1982, and at the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1981 to 1987.
Paying tribute to Sean Calleary, CEO of Connacht Rugby, Willie Ruane said: “On behalf of Connacht Rugby I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Sean Calleary. On the sad occasion of his passing, we acknowledge the immense legacy that he has left behind.”
Sean Calleary's funeral will arrive at St Muredach’s Cathedral today for Mass of the Resurrection at 12.30pm with burial afterwards in Leigue Cemetery.