CORK GAA is today mourning the death of Joe McGrath, who coached county teams in football and hurling and who also steered Blackrock to All-Ireland glory in the 1970s.
He was joint coach with Eamon Ryan when Cork defeated Kerry by a point in the 1983 Munster final with Tadhg Murphy’s famous late goal proving decisive.
And five years later the Down native coached Cork to the All-Ireland U21 hurling title, defeating Kilkenny by 4-11 to 1-5 in the final.
He was also very involved in setting up coaching structures at national level and was one of the first full-time coaching officers in Cork under the Carrigdhoun banner.
The McGrath Cup, which starts at the weekend, was his brainchild back in 1981 for the promotion of football in Munster.
CIT host Cork in a first round game on Sunday at 2pm. The students are gearing up for first round Sigerson Cup tie at home to GMIT, but they’ll be missing Ciarán Sheehan, who is on holidays.
Meanwhile, Fermoy stalwart Jimmy Dennigan has also passed away. He was one of the leading inter-county football referees in the 1970s and 80s, handling the 1986 All-Ireland final between Kerry and Tyrone.
Goals from Pat Spillane and Ger Power helped Kerry win 2-15 to 1-10 claim the last of five titles in the 1980s.
May they rest in peace.
McGrath will be missed by GAA