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Paddy McFlynn: President of the GAA in a time of trouble

Life tends to be full of sad ironies and one of the saddest has come about with the death of former GAA president Paddy McFlynn.

Mr McFlynn, who was 95, was an iconic figure within the association. He had been due to be the VIP guest at the launch of his autobiography, Leading Through The Troubles: A Life in the GAA.

But he passed away late on Tuesday night, having been in deteriorating health for weeks.

Few presidents have contributed as much as the affable Magherafelt man, who became synonymous with the GAA.

Very much his own man, he snubbed convention by playing rugby for Rainey before continuing his interest while a trainee teacher in London.

But it was at the height of the Troubles (1979-82) that Paddy headed up the country's biggest sporting organisation, having founded the O'Donovan Rossa club in Magherafelt and served as secretary of the Derry county board, become first Ulster Council treasurer (1947) and then its president (1961-63).

Ulster Council secretary Danny Murphy led the tributes to someone whom he described as "a truly amazing man".

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