Tributes following passing of pioneering LGFA official

Roscommon Ladies Football and the wider Roscommon community is in mourning this week following the sad passing of one of the county’s most outstanding officials on Sunday.

Marie McAleer was a well-known figure both locally and nationally due to a lifetime of service to ladies’ football.

She was elected the first Chairperson of Roscommon LGFA in June 1974 before being elected Vice-Chairperson of the inaugural Central Council of the LGFA just one month later.

Her greatest memory of her tenure was seeing Roscommon defeat Tipperary 2-3 to 0-5 in the 1978 All-Ireland senior ladies’ football final at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe.

Marie was involved in the formation of Roscommon Gaels LGFA in 2000, following an integral role in St. Croan’s GAA Club.

She was appointed as a Connacht Council delegate in 2004 before returning to Central Council in 2006. She was secretary of Roscommon LGFA from 2009 until stepping down at this year’s AGM.

Her contribution to the sport earned her national recognition and she was awarded a GAA President’s Award in February 2018.

Paying tribute to Marie on Sunday evening, Roscommon LGFA described her as a “pioneering member of Roscommon ladies’ football whose natural instinct was kindness and generosity towards others”.

“Marie was a talented footballer who played regularly for St. Croan’s, Roscommon Gaels and Roscommon, winning an All-Ireland senior title,” the statement read.

“Since becoming involved in ladies’ football, there has been no area that Marie was not involved in – supporter, player, manager, coach, steward, chairperson, committee member, caterer, jersey washer, and referee to name but a few.

“Marie worked hard all her life, dedicated herself to the job at hand, whether work related or to ladies’ football.

“Meeting Marie, you were assured to be greeted by her trademark smile, bubbly personality, and professional manner, which endeared her to all her family, friends, and the sporting world and beyond.

“She was a gifted lady whose natural instinct was kindness and generosity towards others. With almost two decades in the position of County Board Secretary, we are devastated by her loss.

“She was a role model to everybody and our thoughts are with her family at this time”.

The late Marie McAleer is survived by her husband Tiernan, daughters Amy and Kara, brothers Michael (Holland), sister Beatrice, Amy’s partner Gavin, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and a wide circle of family and friends. May she rest in peace.