Offaly mourns Mick Spain

February 07, 2011
Gaelic games in Offaly lost one of its most distinguished servants at the weekend with the sad passing of the legendary Mick Spain.

Mick represented Offaly at minor, junior, intermediate and senior level and is also fondly remembered for his contribution as an administrator and a referee.

One of the top officials of his generation, he took charge of the 1972 All-Ireland senior hurling championship decider between Kilkenny and Cork.

He had refereed the 1971 All-Ireland minor hurling decider, also between Cork and Kilkenny, and would again be the man in the middle at the 1973 All-Ireland U21 football final between Kerry and Mayo and the '74 minor hurling showpiece.

Other notable occasions during Mick's refereeing career were a National Hurling League decider and four All-Ireland club finals.

He became a member of the GAA's Hurling Referees Hall of Fame in 2009.

As well as refereeing, Mick also served the Faithful County as Central Council delegate from 1981 to 2006.

At the time of his sad passing at the age of 78 this weekend, he was a member of the Offaly GAA Hearings Committee, Honorary Vice-President of the Kilcormac/Killoughey club and a member of the Irish Sports Council.

On Sunday, the Offaly GAA faithful marked Mick Spain's passing with a minute's silence before the Allianz National Football League Division 3 contest against Cavan.

In tribute, Offaly County Board Chairman Pat Teehan said, "Mick Spain's contribution to the GAA at local and national level is immeasurable.

"He was a larger than life than character and was one of life's gentlemen and his passing has left a void that will not be easily filled. To his wife Maura and family, I extend our deepest sympathy."

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis.

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