Former All-Ireland referee PJ McGrath dies, aged 79

Mayo man went on to chair the Connacht Council and ran for presidency of association in 2002

The death has taken place of former All-Ireland referee PJ McGrath at the age of 79. He played for the Kilmaine club and was on the Mayo panel in the mid-1960s before going on to be both a well-known match official and administrator, chairing the Connacht Council, of which he later became president.

His most famous match as a referee was Kerry’s attempt on five-in-a-row in 1982 when they were beaten by Séamus Darby’s late goal for Offaly. A year later he also took charge of one of the best remembered All-Ireland semi-finals in which Dublin beat Cork after a replay in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

McGrath had the whistle in both the draw and replay. He also refereed All-Ireland minor finals and on the 1986 international rules tour to Australia.

He contested the GAA presidency in 2002, losing out to Seán Kelly.

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