Leading Down GAA figure Maurice Hayes dies at 90

December 23, 2017

Maurice Hayes was Northern Ireland's first Catholic Ombudsman

Former Northern Ireland Ombudsman and leading Down GAA figure Dr Maurice Hayes has passed away at 90.

Northern Ireland's first Catholic Ombudsman, Dr Hayes also served as the permanent secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services.

The Killough native played hurling for Down and was also viewed as a great Gaelic games strategist.

County board secretary Sean Og McAteer credited Dr Hayes's "vision" in helping Down claim an inaugural All-Ireland senior football championship victory in 1960, becoming the first team in Northern Ireland to bring the Sam Maguire Cup across the border.

"The 1960 breakthrough was a testament to his organisational skill, he had a vision which came to fruition," McAteer told Sunday Life

He died this morning (Saturday) in hospital after a period of illness.

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