Legendary Cork manager Eamonn Ryan passes away

Legendary Cork manager Eamonn Ryan has died, following an illness.

Ryan is best remembered as the manager of the Cork ladies football team, which won an unprecedented 10 All-Ireland senior titles in 11 years.

During that time, Cork also lifted 9 national league titles.

Ryan’s passing was confirmed today by the Cork’s Ladies football board, who say he died following an “illness bravely fought”.

It is with huge sadness we inform you that Eamnon Ryan @GlenvilleGAA @WatergrasshillG @ucc_gaa @CorkLGFA & @OfficialCorkGAA passed on to his eternal rest this afternoon after a illness bravely fought. A legend in his own lifetime.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis . pic.twitter.com/WpDLrm6UHx

— Cork LGFA (@CorkLGFA) January 14, 2021

Eamonn Ryan managed the Cork senior footballers for four years during the 1980s, but his legacy was cemented in his role as manager of one of the most dominant teams in the history of Gaelic Games.

He led Cork’s ladies footballers to All-Ireland glory from 2005 to 2009, before they picked up another five in a row from 2011 to 2015 under his tutelage, when Ephie Fitzgerald took over the helm.

Fitzgerald has described his predecessor as a “thorough gentleman”.

“Very sad to hear of the passing of Eamonn Ryan. An unbelievable sporting record but above all else a thorough gentleman. He will be sadly missed. Deepest condolences to his family. May he rest in peace,” he tweeted.

Former Cork GAA Chairperson Tracey Kennedy has also paid tribute:

“Incredibly sad news. Eamonn gave so, so much to the GAA and LGFA over a lifetime and was unbelievably wise and generous with his wisdom. He will be very sadly missed. Condolences to all who mourn him.”

The LGFA have also paid tribute to the Watergrasshill clubman.

All of us at @LadiesFootball are deeply saddened to learn of Eamonn Ryan’s passing.

Cork won 10 @SportTG4 All-Ireland Senior titles while he was at the helm from 2004-2015, along with 9 Division 1 National League crowns in that time.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis https://t.co/2aiMeGikby

— Ladies Football (@LadiesFootball) January 14, 2021

The association’s Chairperson Marie Hickey described Ryan as a “genius” in her tribute to him.

“Eamonn Ryan was a larger than life character who guided Cork to unprecedented success during his spell in charge.

“Eamonn’s managerial genius was very much to the fore as Cork won five successive TG4 All-Ireland Senior titles from 2005-2009, and another five-in-a-row from 2011-2015, while he was in charge.

“During Eamonn’s tenure, Cork were also crowned Division 1 National League Champions on nine occasions.

“Eamonn had a unique bond with the players he worked alongside, who all speak of his influence in glowing terms.

“Many of us in the LGFA also had the opportunity to get to know Eamonn on a personal level over the course of many years.

“He joined us on TG4 All Star tours abroad and he was such a personable character, and engaging company.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of Eamonn’s passing and he leaves behind an incredible legacy.

“On behalf of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, I wish to pass on our sincere condolences to Eamonn’s family and friends at this very sad time.”