01 Jul 2022

Heartfelt tributes paid to an inspirational man - words from the GAA community far and wide mourning the late Packie McGarty

Heartfelt tributes paid to an inspirational man - words from the GAA community far and wide mourning the late Packie McGarty

Packie McGarty (front row, third from left) pictured with his Leitrim teammates in 1958 - full team photo at bottom of article

There are many beautiful and heartfelt tributes paid to Pakie on the condolences section of Here is a just a small selection.

Packie was one of the most outstanding footballers that I have played against, a true footballing legend. I played for Galway from 1955 to 1963 and we met Leitrim many times and the combination of McGarty and Cathal Flynn was to be feared. The game he played in the 1958 Connacht final still is a permanent memory to me when I think of the supply of ball he gave to the full forward line, especially Cathal Flynn. I know because I was marking Cathal. May Packie rest in peace.

Sean Keeley, Ballinasloe, Co Galway

A genius who always troubled Galway. Always admired him and glad I never encountered him on the field. Treasured, vivid memories of him running riot among our defence in Sligo and Galway.

Johnny Geraghty, Galway

I have memories of that great Leitrim man and footballing legend, having played against him in the sixties. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

Mickey Kearins, Sligo

Packie was a legend of our time and a pleasure to meet and chat with. I found him very shy. My sympathy to Ellen and all the family. RI P great man.

Babs Keating, Tipperary

On behalf of everyone in Roscommon GAA I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the McGarty family and everyone in Leitrim GAA on the sad passing of the great man that was Packie McGarty. One of our greats in Roscommon Gerry O'Malley always spoke so highly of Packie and always regarded him as one of the greatest players he ever played against.

Brian Carroll, Chairperson, Roscommon GAA

On behalf of Round Towers GAA Club, I wish to express our sincere condolences to Ellen and the entire McGarty family on the passing of Packie, a footballing legend, and a gentleman.

Padraig MacCarthy Secretary, Round Towers GAA

I had the pleasure and the privilege of playing football in the 60’s with Packie for our native Leitrim and Connacht and inter-club football in Dublin. In my view, he was, pound for pound, one of the very best players of his generation comparable to Sean O’Neill of Down or Benny Gaughran of Louth. He was also a special person and any time spent in his company was always a sheer joy. He will be sadly missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.

Joe Layden

It is with great regret and sorrow that I have learned of the death of my friend and team mate Packie McGarty RIP. He was a native of Mohill, like myself from Gorvagh a part of the Mohill parish. He was a superb footballer with a great natural fielding ability, allied to a nonstop evasive solo run that ended with a goal or point for the team.

Cathal Flynn

Just heartbroken to learn of the passing of my hero, my idol, my forever friend. Heartfelt sympathy to Ellen and all the family. All of Leitrim will be sharing in your grief but also in the pride we all feel to have had such a man to simply adore and to wonder at his footballing skills and his gentle unassuming ways. Packie lit up our lives so many times in the Mohill, Tara’s, Sean McDermotts, Connacht or Ireland Jerseys, but it was in the green and gold of Leitrim that his star shone brightest, just as it is now in the great playing field up above. Thank you Packie and the McGarty family. Suaimhneas siorai duit, Packie.

Tommy Moran, Ballinamore

I wish to express my deepest sympathy to the extended McGarty family on the death of the great and humble man that was Packie McGarty. He was such an icon not just in Leitrim but I'm sure that my sentiments are shared by so many in Roscommon and all those in the GAA community here. I think also of the Leitrim diaspora especially in places like New York where he also starred on occasion. I was in St. Coman's Park, Roscommon for that epic game v Galway in 1958. I was lucky enough to meet him at a book launch by Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin in late 2012. May he rest in peace.

Tony Conboy, Boyle & Fuerty, Co Roscommon

On behalf of the Galway GAA community I wish to express our sincere sympathy to the McGarty family and the GAA community in Co Leitrim on the death of Packie. Accepted as one of the greatest footballers of all times, he was respected and admired by all in our county and his performances in the series of games against us in the period 1958-62 are recalled with admiration. A true sportsman and gentleman.

Pat Kearney, Chairperson, Galway GAA

He was a legend of the game when I was a child. It was my great privilege to try to play on him in a Dublin County Championship game: Round Towers versus Erin's Hope. Wonderfully talented player.

Michael Gleeson, Killarney, Co Kerry

Sincere sympathy to the McGarty family on the sad passing of Packie, a true legend of the game. May he rest in peace.

Seamus Darby, Offaly

I had the pleasure of being his mascot for the famous Connacht Final of 1958 and it was an honour many years later to share a pitch, though on opposite sides, with my hero. Packie was an excellent example to us all, a warm, wonderful and humble man. Rest in peace.

Michael Dolan

A truly inspirational footballer, he was also a lovely man. I had the honour and privilege of being his teammate and of experiencing his great footballing prowess at close quarters. Just to be on the pitch with him was special. It was also such a great pleasure to have spent many hours with himself and Ella in their home in Terenure. His enthusiasm for the game was boundless and many battles were recounted with the greatest of relish - but always with great humility.

Packie will be mourned by the entire GAA world. It was such an honour to have known him. There will not be his like again.

Ben Wrynn, Fenagh and Leixlip

Sincere condolences to all the McGarty family on their great loss of a true legend both on and off the football fields. Packie was one of the greatest I have ever seen and he should have been a walk on to both teams of the century in 1984. May he now rest in the peace of the lord.

Willie McGee, Mayo and Leixlip

A true gentleman and one of Leitrim's finest sportsmen.

Gabriel Kelly, Cavan

The famed Leitrim team of 1958 who were defeated by Galway in the Connacht Final in St. Coman’s Park Roscommon. (Back, from left) Tommy Greenan, Tony Hayden, Fr Bernie Doyle, Jim Lynch, Jimmy O’Donnell, Mick Mullins, Conor Keaney, Columba Cryan, Josie Murray. (Front) Pat Conefrey, Paddy Reilly, Frank Quinn, Packie McGarty, Leo Heslin, Paddy Dolan, Fr Tom Colreavy, Jackie Gallagher, Cathal Flynn. Mascot - Michael Dolan

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.