Paddy MacFlynn (1918-2013), Down, was the twenty-sixth president of the GAA (1979-1982).
Born in Magherafelt, Co. Derry, McFlynn was a founder member of his local club, O’Donovan Rossa GAA Magherafelt, in 1934. He was a member of Derry’s first county Minor team, and won a Senior County Championship medal with Magherafelt in 1942.
He was active in administration, first in Derry, then later, when his work as a teacher took him to Co. Down, he served as President of Tullyish GAA, treasurer of the Down County Board from 1955 to 1973, as vice president from 1958 to 1960, and as chairman of the Ulster Council from 1961 to 1963.
As a GAA president from Northern Ireland during The Troubles, McFlynn dealt with issues such as hunger strikes, H-Blocks, and Crossmaglen (whose grounds were occupied by the British Army from 1971 to 1998). The hunger strikes in particular threatened to tear the GAA apart, through the divide between those who wished to show support on humanitarian grounds, and those who wished to keep the GAA apolitical.
A book of his life, “Leading Through the Troubles – A Life in the GAA”, written by Alan Rodgers, was due to launch during the week of his death.