By Damien Maher
Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann. Former Westmeath GAA County Board Chairman, Séamus Ó Faoláin, who led the county from 1986 to 2007, passed to his eternal reward on Monday, 2 August.
His two decades at the helm coincided with remarkable success on the football fields as Westmeath won All-Ireland minor and under 21 titles (1995 and ’99), before reaching the Holy Grail in 2004 by capturing their first and only Leinster senior football title.
A visionary, Mr Ó Faoláin oversaw the established of Cumann na mBunscol in Westmeath, promoting Gaelic games in the county’s national schools, while the revolutionary approach to coaching and competition structures were also key to the county’s breakthrough.
He oversaw the ambitious redevelopment of Cusack Park in the mid 1990s at a cost of £1.2m.
His contribution to Irish culture through Scór and the promotion of the Irish language will also be a major part of his legacy.
We pay tribute to Séamus Ó Faoláin throughout this week’s issue.