Mayo GAA and wider community mourn late PJ McGrath

The late PJ McGrath

The late PJ McGrath

The late PJ McGrath was laid to rest yesterday in St. Colman’s Cemetery in Claremorris.

The Kilmaine native was probably best known as the man in the middle of the the field for the 1982 All Ireland Football Final between Offaly and Kerry, when Seamus Darby grabbed a late, late goal for the Faithful County to put an end to Kerry's dreams of winning five All Ireland titles in a row.

Along with refereeing McGrath was stepped all through the GAA as a player being a member of the Mayo senior squad in the mid 1960s and administrator, serving as County Board chairperson, President of the Connacht Council and on a number of committees in Croke Park along with contesting the Presidency of the GAA at one stage.

He worked as a teacher in both Claremorris Vocational School and St Colman's College, Claremorris and there were warm tributes paid to him by the elected members of the Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District at their March meeting this week.

PJ was also involved in politics and Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary paid tribute to him saying this week: "It is with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of PJ McGrath of Kilmaine and Claremorris. PJ was one of lifes gentlemen.

"He was a distinguished member of the GAA as a player, a referee and an official at all levels. He served as referee of the famous 1982 All Ireland football final between Offaly and Kerry.

"He was also a dedicated and active member of Fianna Fáil. He served as chair of Mayo Fianna Fail. I and many more benefited from his generosity of time and spirit and his immense wisdom and experience. I will be for ever grateful for that.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Phil and their wonderful family this evening. His legacy is immense,his influence wide and long lasting. Go ndeana Dia trocaire ar a anam"


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