Connacht Rugby and the community of Creggs lost valued friend Dr Joe Daly who passed away recently after a long illness.
A former president of the Connacht Branch IRFU and of Creggs RFC, Joe was always the voice of quiet reason, and a gentleman to the last.
As a founder member of Creggs RFC, Joe's involvement in Connacht Rugby grew, first as a delegate, a lengthy involvement with the the Connacht junior team, and then president in 1988/99.
At the time he became president, Gerry Kelly also became the province's first CEO, and the two enjoyed a long friendship.
"Joe was one of the most gentle of men, yet also very firm, and he had a great way of dealing with people," says Kelly. "The first time Connacht came under pressure from the IRFU, he maintained his presidential demeanour throughout - it was a little disconcerting for the IRFU. There is no doubt he provided great leadership at that time."
As the branch junior vice president, Joe had not been due to become the president until the following year, but after becoming ill at that time, senior vice president Billy Glynn agreed to wait a year and let Joe precede him.
"There were worries about his health at that time - that was nearly 20 years ago."
Connacht Rugby did not have the money it has today, says Kelly, and there were many times Joe would also double up as team doctor to help out.
A family doctor, Joe's death will be hugely felt in Ballygar. A keen golfer and former captain of Roscommon Golf Club, Joe was also "synonymous" with Creggs RFC, serving as president between 1977-1987 and in 2001.
"Joe was involved on the march to save Connacht Rugby in 2003 which resulted in a rescue package that has evolved into what we see today as a thriving sport, beaming pictures of Connacht around the globe," says the club. "Joe, despite suffering poor health, wasn’t to be held back, either in Creggs supporting 'The Village' or travelling to support Connacht rugby."
Joe always enjoyed his travels to support Connacht throughout Europe, and in latter years was accompanied by his sons, Luke, who sadly passed away in 2010, Martin, and Peter. His last away venture was to Edinburgh in May to see Connacht become the Pro 12 champions. He had booked his trip to Coventry for the Wasps fixture on Sunday December 11, but sadly became ill and passed away the day before. How he would have loved the return visit when Connacht overcame the premiership outfit in the Galway Sportsground.
Joe is survived by his wife Maddy, and children Martin, Michelle, Peter, Joanne, Madeleine, and Aisling.