The death took place earlier on today of legendary Mayo GAA figure, Dr Mick Loftus. The Crossmolina man was the last surviving member of the Mayo Senior panel from 1951, when the county most recently tasted All-Ireland success. He was 93 years of age.
Born in what was still the Irish Free State in August 1929, Dr Mick Loftus had a varied and prominent sporting and professional career. He played Minor, Junior and Senior for Mayo, appearing in the All-Ireland Minor final of 1947 and winning Junior All-Irelands with the county in 1950 and again in 1957, as well as being togged on the day we won our third Senior All-Ireland in 1951.
He also won two Sigerson medals while studying medicine at UCG. In addition, he was a member of the Crossmolina team that won the Mayo SFC in 1949.
As well as playing, Dr Mick was a notable referee and he officiated at the 1965 and 1968 All-Ireland football finals. He then moved into administrative roles within the association, serving as Connacht Council Chair and also Chair of the Centenary Committee.
When Centenary year came around in 1984, he was elected at that year’s Congress as the 28th President of the GAA, taking office in 1985 and serving until 1988. He remains the only Mayo person to serve as GAA President.
In his professional life, he had an equally distinguished career. He ran a medical practice in North Mayo and also served as coroner for the area for many years.
In paying tribute to him today, his granddaughter Rosanna described Dr Mick as a revered figure and that seems a very fitting adjective for someone who excelled in everything he did, while at the same time remaining rooted in his community. That generation were truly remarkable people, whose selfless hard work and dedication did much to lay the foundations for the Ireland of today. Dr Mick Loftus was one of the very best of that cohort.
Condolences to Dr Mick’s family, including his grandnephew, current Senior player Conor, as well as all his relations and many friends. May this esteemed son of Mayo rest in peace.