John O'Mahony, Galway's All-Ireland winning manager and former TD, dies at 71

John O'Mahony has passed away aged 71
-Credit: (Image: Inpho)


John O'Mahony, the two-time All-Ireland winning manager, has passed away aged 71. He enjoyed a stellar career as Galway manager winning two All Irelands with the tribesmen in 1998 and 2001.

Despite being a native of Mayo, John led their bitter rivals to some of their most successful days in football. John had been suffering from cancer since his diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the blood, in the summer of 2020, reports the Irish Mirror.

When he wasn't leading Galway to All Ireland glory, John served as a Fine Gael TD for nine years and a senator for a further four years. Speaking previously about how he reacted to the diagnosis, John said: "It hits you in the face, and your life flashes in front of you, and you think of all kinds of things.

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"Obviously, the two things that would be big in your life your family and sport. It wasn't necessarily politics I was thinking about!" In December 2023, John stepped down as Salthill Knocknacarra's manager after two years in charge.

As news of John's untimely passing spread, friends and fans began to pay tribute to him. In a statement released from Taoiseach Simon Harris, he said: "It is with great sadness that I today learned of the death of our colleague and friend John O'Mahony.John was a sporting hero, a champion and a gentleman.

"On the sporting field, John left a stunning legacy in Mayo, Leitrim and Galway, where they still talk about his All-Ireland wins of '98 and '01. He was a leader, he made people believe in their own abilities and he delivered at the highest levels.

"On the political field, John's determination to deliver was no less fierce than in sport. He was decent, hardworking, effective and respected. On a personal level, John was an established TD when I first entered the Dail in 2011 and like many colleagues, his quiet and assured support and word in the ear to 'keep the faith' was invaluable.

"The Fine Gael family has lost a great friend and colleague. The people of the West of Ireland have lost an incredible advocate and champion. To his wife Gerardine, his five daughters and his grandchildren, I'm so sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace."

Galway GAA paid tribute to their former manager, saying: "John O'Mahony, R.I.P. We are deeply saddened to share the news that our former All-Ireland winning football manager has passed away. John guided Galway to the 1998 and 2001 All-Ireland SFC titles during a wonderful era for Galway football. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam".

Another tribute read: "I am so sorry to hear about the passing of John O Mahony. As a Galway GAA fan, Johno gave us the most incredible days of our sporting lives. Condolences to the family and friends. RIP Johno."

In a heartfelt tribute, one fan recalled John as a "true gentleman", sharing: "A true gentleman always had a friendly smile and acknowledged everyone sad to hear this news."

John's legacy includes his time as Leitrim manager, leading them to Connacht success in 1994, and his two periods at the helm for Mayo, securing Connacht crowns in 1988 and '89, with a return to the role from 2006 to 2010, culminating in the 2009 Connacht championship.

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