John O’Mahony, Mayo manager, during the Meath v Mayo All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park in 2009. Photo: John Quirke

Sad passing of John O'Mahony - manager of the Galway team that defeated Meath in the 2001 All-Ireland final

President Higgins has led tributes to John O'Mahony, the former inter-county GAA manager and Mayo TD, who died on Sunday following a short illness.

Mr O'Mahony was manager of the Galway team that defeated Meath in the 2001 All-Ireland final, Meath's last appearance in a senior All-Ireland men's decider.

Sean Boylan's side lost by 0-17 to 0-8 to the western heroes with current Galway manager, Padraig Joyce, the star player for the Tribesmen on the day. Galway had lost the previous year's final to Kerry, and won the 1998 title over Kildare.

President Higgins said: "John O'Mahony will be remembered as one of the greatest football managers in Connacht history. With Mayo, Leitrim and Galway, he brought his teams to levels of success that they had not experienced for decades while bringing an innovative approach to preparation and analysis that was far ahead of its time. For each of these achievements, including two All Ireland titles with Galway, he will be remembered with the greatest of affection.

"Beyond the football field, he will be further remembered for his dedicated service as a TD, and later senator, serving the people of Mayo," the President added. "I express deepest sympathies to John's wife Geraldine, to his daughters Gráinne, Niamh, Rhona, Deirdre and Clíodhna, and to all of his family, friends and many colleagues in the GAA, politics and beyond."

Mr O'Mahony was a teacher at St Nathy's College in Ballaghadreen, who managed Mayo to All-Ireland under-21 success in 1983. He brought Mayo to a senior All-Ireland against victors, Cork, in 1989, and managed Leitrim to their first Connaught chanpionship in 67 years in 1994.

In 2007, he was elected a Fine Gael TD for Mayo, and again in 2011, before serving as a senator from 2016 to 2020. He was a close friend of recently deceased RTE journalist, Tommie Gorman from Sligo.