Tributes have been paid following the passing of former Connacht Rugby President Mick Grealish who was an integral figure in local rugby for decades.
Connacht Rugby said in a statement today that the club is deeply saddened by the passing of one its “greatest friends and a true giant of rugby in our province”.
Mick Grealish had deep connections to local Rugby in Galway, having first joined Our Lady’s Boys Club in Rahoon as an 11 year old boy in the 50s, and to provincial rugby, where he served Connacht both on and off the pitch.
Grealish joined the Boys Club on Sea Road at the age of 11, and at 17 years old signed up for the new rugby section there.
His record on the pitch for OLBC RFC included captaining the team when they won the Wanderers Cup in the 60s, and for a double League and Junior Cup win in the 1970/71 season.
Off the pitch he served as the Club President in 1975/76, and then again in 2004/05 for the club’s 50th anniversary. He also coached the Junior Cup winning team in 1987.
OLBD RFC said that Mick “epitomized all that was good” about Our Lady’s Boys Club both on and off the pitch.
At a provincial level, Mick Grealish played for the Connacht Juniors, and also coached the same, was past Chairman of the former Stadium and Grounds Committee, and held the role of Connacht Rugby President for the 2008/09 season
He leaves behind an “incredible legacy” in his work for the province Connacht Rugby said, and remained a familiar face at the Sportsground up until restrictions were introduced last year.
Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said “Mick defined everything that was good about the people of Connacht. It’s hard to fully state the size of the impact he has made on the organisation, whether it be as an active player and coach, or official and administrator.”
“What struck me most about Mick was his humility and his genuine wish to help people – particularly young people – no matter what the ask was. His sad passing will be felt by so many people, which in itself is a testament to what he achieved through his lifetime of volunteerism.”
“On behalf of everyone at Connacht Rugby I’d like to extend our deepest sympathies to Mick’s family including his wife Maureen, his children Keith, Mickey and Eleanor, his many friends and everyone at OLBC”.