One year ago former GAA President Paddy MacFlynn and author Alan Rodgers embarked on a project to complete the autobiography of the president who guided the GAA through one of the most difficult periods of the Troubles.
Now the completed book entitled ‘Leading Through the Troubles – A Life in the GAA – Paddy MacFlynn’ will have its official launch in the Canal Court in Newry at a special event this Thursday, October 24, at 7.30pm.
In the book, Paddy MacFlynn – who was GAA President from 1979 to 1982 – recounts in a forthright and honest manner the challenges of guiding the association through the army occupation of the Crossmaglen grounds, and dealing with events at the time in the H-Block – most notably the 1980/81 Hunger Strikes.
The publication of the book is made all the more poignant by the death of Mr MacFlynn three weeks ago at the age of 95. His insights are an important addition to modern Irish history and how these events were high on his agenda as leader of an organisation whose members were affected in a multitude of ways.
‘Leading Through the Troubles’ will be launched by GAA President, Liam O’Neill, who will speak about the significance of Paddy MacFlynn’s presidency.
His contribution is also highlighted by the fact that, in an epilogue, former GAA Director General, Liam Mulvihill, said the GAA could not have remained united but for the presence of a ‘northern person of such stature as President.’ The author, Alan Rodgers, who is from Beragh in Co Tyrone said it was a privilege and honour to have worked with the former President on completing the book.
“I was constantly amazed at his recall of events over so many years and his interest in the GAA nationally,” said Alan. “This was a project which Paddy was very anxious to see reach fruition. It is a fitting testament to his contribution to the development of gaelic games and culture
“He also played rugby and was instrumental in developing the structures which followed the introduction of live television coverage of football and hurling matches from the early 1960s and speaks with pride about his involvement with both the Tullylish club and the Down Co Board, of which he was President for many years.
“Paddy’s passing, even at the advanced age of 95, was greeted with sadness by all who knew him. But his contribution to the GAA is incomparable in the modern era.
“The manner in which he led the association during the difficult 1979-1982 period is just one lasting legacy from a lifetime of involvement and voluntary service.”
The event at the Canal Court gets underway at 7.30pm.]]>