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Patrick Fanning
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Birth: Aug. 25, 1918
County Waterford, Ireland
Death: Mar. 14, 2010
County Waterford, Ireland

Pat Fanning.
Former President of the Gaelic Athletic Association, 1970-73.
Husband of Maura Ryan Fanning, whom he married in 1943.

Pádraig Ó Fainín
Iar-Uachtarán Cumainn Lúthchleas Gael, 1970-73.

Fógra Báis
a foilsíodh sa nuachtán Irish Times, 15-16 Márta 2010.

Ó FAINÍN, Pádraig (Port Láirge, Iar-Uachtarán C.L.G.) - Fuair bás 14 Márta, 2010. Méala mór a bhás dá chlann. Cuirfear é tar eis Aifrinn ag meán lae, Séipéal Naomh Eoin, Sráid Pharnell, Port Láirge, Dé Máirt 16 Márta i Reilg Naomh Otteran, Bóthar Chorcaí.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

The following is taken from "The Munster Express" Newspaper

By Jamie O'Keeffe.
Published on Friday, March 19th, 2010

There was a massive GAA-dominated gathering for the removal of former president, Mr Pat Fanning, in Waterford City last night (Monday).

The Mount Sion stalwart, who served in office from 1970 to 1973, passed away at Waterford Regional Hospital early on Sunday aged 91. Following Requiem Mass in St John's Church, Parnell Street, at noon today (Tuesday) he will be laid to rest in St. Otteran's Cemetery, not far from St. Stephen's Terrace, Cork Road, where he'd lived since 1952.

Born in 1918, Pádraig Ó Fainín was one of the association's greatest administrators of any era. He filled positions at every level of the Association, serving as Waterford County Chairman in three successive decades, including a final term after his presidency, from 1975 to '78, and as Cathaoirleach of the Munster Council from 1962-'65.

Long before that he played inter-county hurling at every grade for Waterford and won seven County Senior Hurling Championship medals with his beloved Cnoc Síon. Having started out as their ‘Hon Sec' from 1941-55, and then became chairman, he was later made Life President of both his club and the County Board; the latter honoured bestowed during the chairmanship of Paddy Joe Ryan, who described him as the "father figure" of the GAA in Waterford.

A Department of Social Welfare employee for over four decades, Pat's voluntary work with the GAA was truly a labour of love. The first chairman of its Policy Committee from 1964-1970, he later chaired Croke Park's Development and Communications Committees from 1975-82.

He is best known for being the president who oversaw the removal of Rule 27 at the 1971 Annual Congress in Belfast, thereby allowing its players to take part in the so-called ‘foreign games' of rugby, soccer, cricket and hockey.

This, of course, was at a time when the Troubles were escalating in the North, with many GAA members being interned and the British military establishing bases at locations like the Crossmaglen club.

Although Pat personally supported ‘The Ban', his dexterity, sensitivity and even-handedness in facilitating the debate and protocols that led to its abolition won him many admirers.

As the citation stated on his being made an Honorary Fellow of Waterford IT in late 2007, he "demonstrated all of the acumen of the true Statesman. With a determination that would not be broken, he sought out and achieved the unifying perspective, winning consensus in a remarkable triumph of inspired endeavour."

After announcing the historic vote, Pat told delegates: "We must now, more than ever, be seen to be more than a sporting organisation. We have always been that and gloried in it."

Powerful speaker.

Though a brilliant organiser, and highly intelligent, it was as a speaker that the former Mount Sion schoolboy was at his most powerful, with Pat's famously passionate speeches capable of stirring emotions in young and old alike.

Deeply religious and "not a pessimist by nature", Pat put his motivational abilities and hurling knowledge to good use as a selector and trainer to the Waterford side that won the All-Ireland minor championship in 1948, and he was a key member of the backroom team during Waterford's hurling heyday in the late '50s and early '60s, working alongside his great friend, the legendary John Keane, the coach. Pat was chairman of the selectors when Waterford last lifted the Liam McCarthy Cup, in 1959.

Paying tribute to one of the GAA's great traditionalists, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Christy Cooney said: "Pat Fanning was an inspirational figure who had an active role at every level of the Association both before and after serving as Association President.

"He showed real leadership qualities in the three years that he served in that position, which was a challenging time for the Association, and he made an immense contribution to GAA over a prolonged period.

"Of course his involvement with the GAA started with the games and his record, most notably with his Club Mount Sion, is a proud one.

"On behalf of the Association as a whole I would like to take this opportunity to offer our condolences to the Fanning family and Waterford GAA on their loss," the President said.

Those sentiments were echoed by Waterford County Chairman Tom Cunningham, who described Pat Fanning as "a legend", and said his legacy would stand the test of time. On behalf of everyone in Waterford GAA he extended his condolences to the Fanning family.

Outgoing Minister for Sport, Martin Cullen said: "Pat had a lifelong love of Gaelic Games and was a powerful advocate for Hurling and Gaelic Football and for our Irish language. His notable career as President of the GAA was marked by determination and hard work. He found himself as President during a time of dramatic change and showed strong leadership. In his native Waterford, he was an extremely popular man and was much admired throughout the county."

Pat, who was married to Maura for sixty years until her death in 2003, is sadly missed by his extended family, not least his four loving children: Phil, Máirtin (the Irish Ambassador to Australia), Eileen (Partridge) and Pat; his sister Kitty, grandchildren, great grandchildren, daughters and son-in-law, nephews and nieces, relations, and of course his wide circle of lifelong friends.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

See also the following websites

Mount Sion, Pat Fanning

Wikipedia, Pat Fanning

Family links: 
  Maura M. Ryan Fanning (____ - 2003)
Saint Otteran's Cemetery
County Waterford, Ireland
Created by: John
Record added: Sep 09, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96754098
Patrick Fanning
Added by: John
Patrick Fanning
Added by: Andy Scott
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