LGFA President Marie Hickey and Louth captain Kate Flood has led the tributes to Wee County ladies football team manager Mícheál McKeown, who sadly passed away last night (Tuesday).
Mícheál, 67, was taken ill before last Sunday's TG4 Leinster ladies junior football championship fixture against Kilkenny, and died at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.
The Channonrock (Louth) man was a key member of the Monaghan management team in 1996, working as coach when the Farney County won the All-Ireland ladies senior football title.
Mícheál also served as manager of the Monaghan ladies senior team in 1999 and 2003, and he coached a number of club teams in Cavan, Louth and Monaghan.
A former Monaghan minor team coach, Mícheál also served previously as chairman of the Louth minor board.
The former Fane Rangers player in Louth, Mícheál was ratified as Louth Ladies football team manager last October.
During a successful 2018 campaign, the Wee County progressed to a Lidl Division 4 League final appearance against Wicklow and are through to a TG4 Leinster junior football championship final against Cavan.
A hugely-popular figure, news of Mícheál's death has been greeted with widespread shock and sorrow.
LGFA President Marie Hickey said: "All of us at the Ladies Gaelic Football Association are deeply saddened, having learned of Mícheál's untimely passing.
"Mícheál was a much-loved character with LGFA circles and renowned as outstanding coach.
"He was a key member of the management team when Monaghan won the All-Ireland senior title back in 1996 and recently, he guided Louth to the Lidl Division 4 National League final. "Mícheál's coaching prowess also had a profound effect on a number of clubs and the benefits of his work will be felt for many years to come.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to Mícheál's wife Mary, his wider family, and many friends at this very sad time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam."
Speaking on behalf of the Louth players, captain Kate Flood commented: "We were all very proud to have Mícheál as our manager.
"He was an absolute gentleman and while he was only with us for a short time as manager, he brought us to a League final and we were so honoured to have known him.
"He had a massive impact on us through football, and also on a personal level.
"I wish to extend our condolences to his wife Mary, and Mícheál's wider family."
The death has occurred of Micheál McKeown, Annamarron, Killanny, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan and formerly Channonrock, Louth, unexpectedly at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda Tuesday 5th June 2018. Beloved husband of Mary. Deeply regretted by his heartbroken wife, brother Pat (Inniskeen), sisters Marie Kirk (Maynooth), Ann Clifford (Clane), and Philomena Barrett (Navan), aunt Annie (New Jersey), sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces, grand-nephews, grand-nieces, members of the Louth Ladies football team, relatives, neighbours and wide circle of friends.
"May His Gentle Soul Rest in Eternal Peace"