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22/09/2021

Derry GAA pay tribute to former player

Former Ballerin Chairman Brian Mullan passed away

Derry GAA pay tribute to former player

Tributes have been made to the late Brian Mullan a 'leading figure' in local GAA circles who passed away on Friday.

Mullan was a fomer player, manager, Chairman and a current trustee of his native Ballerin and played over a decade for Derry.

He passed away peacefully on Friday with his family at home and will be laid to rest after requiem mass (1.00) in St Mary’s Church, Ballerin on Sunday afternoon.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Madge, son Brian Og, daughters Fiona (Donaghy), Teresa, Anne (McKeague), Carmel Colette and Sinead (Burns), sisters Mary Teresa (Lagan), Bridie (Gormley), Sister Anne and brother Sean,” commented a Ballerin club statement playing tribute to his input over a lifetime.

He was the brother of the late Patsy, Fr Michael and Colum P.

In 1953, Brian led Ballerin minors to their first every North Derry title and despite his youth, he captained the senior team to their first Derry championship four years later, after a 3-8 to 2-6 over Ballymaguigan.

In 1958, along with his late brother Father Michael, Sean O’Connell and Seoirse McKinney, the four Ballerin men played for Derry in the first ever Gaelic football game played at Wembley

The same year he was on the Derry team that reached the All-Ireland final against Dublin. He had a county career spanning over a decade and on one occasion held the famous Down star Paddy Doherty scoreless from play.

In his role as club Chairman, Brian was deeply involved in the purchase of the club’s playing field in the late sixties and the dream came to fruition in 1970 when it was officially opened by then GAA president Pat Fanning.

“He was the driving force behind the club for quite a number of years providing leadership, transport and leading the fund raising and moving the club forward,” the Ballerin tribute continued.

“He was also one of the leading figures in the purchase of Owenbeg and had been a long serving member of the County Finance Committee. He was a solid supporter of Derry teams until illness struck.”

Derry GAA have paid tribute describing Brian as 'a giant' and made an 'immense' contribution to GAA in the county.

In a statement on their social media, they described as a 'quiet leader', the 'ultimate supporter' and a 'rock'.

Mullan's 11 years playing for the county included their run to the 1958 All-Ireland Final defeat to Dublin and was involved in the purchase of Owenbeg.

"A man who got things done without fanfare or fuss, his legacy for our generation and those to come is secure," the statement continued. 

"We are thankful and grateful for the life of Brian Mullan, but to truly honour him we must show the same pride, determination and energy that he did, to make our association, our clubs, our community and county the best that it can be.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Brian's wife, Madge, daughters Fiona, Mary Teresa, Anne, Carmel, Colette, Sinéad and son Brian Óg. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal."

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