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Hall of Fame - Tom Daly

Traditionally inductees into the Aodh Ruadh Hall of Fame come with a proud pedigree and distinguished CV, this recipient is no exception.

There is a terrible cliché which we presenters tend to over-use: We say, our next speaker, our next winner, our next award recipient, "needs no introduction" and we usually tend to go on for five minutes introducing the man or woman who 'needed no introduction'. However, the recipient of our 2009 Hall of Fame Award, does need an introduction - not because you don't know him - but because he deserves that introduction for his contribution to this club, this county, this province and to the GAA nationally and indeed internationally.

They say a week is a long time in politics - and it is - but the last seven days has seen tonight's recipient of our Hall of Fame have another typically long and busy week, covering 30,000 miles,on behalf of the GAA! Last Sunday night he was in slightly different surroundings, promoting Gaelic games among Ireland's 800 strong ex-pat community in Thailand, attending the Asian Gaelic Games Festival. Tonight, while the setting may not be as exotic and the temperature not quite so hot, here he is with his own and the welcome is no less warm in terms of both the esteem and admiration for this man's huge work ethic for the local and national GAA family.

But this is a CLUB award, and while our awardee has given himself to the GAA at all levels, we felt it was time we recognised his contribution to Aodh Ruadh.

Having played hurling and football with De La Salle and Aodh Ruadh, doing so until 1984, he has made his mark as a GAA administrator. His first major GAA speech in 1974, was at the graveside of his late father, Hugh Daly, where, on behalf of his family he returned thanks to the then GAA president Donal Keenan following the unveiling of a commemorative GAA headstone to his late father.

A keen club footballer with senior championship, senior reserve championship and league medals, he would be modest about his football ability but those who played with or against him would agree that he was a fine and fiercely competitive club hurler in particular - winning senior shield and junior championship medals in Donegal.

Working in the Committee of Agriculture he was instrumental in re-launching Lifford GAA club. In 1980, on a chance post-Christmas walk down the town he happened on a notice in the window of Dorrian's hotel declaring that inside the Aodh Ruadh GAA club were holding their AGM. He walked in to see what was happening. Two hours later he walked out, the new chairman of the club. A leader, he was and is an administrative colossus. He identified funding and galvanised club colleagues, new developments that brought major infra-structural changes to Fr Tierney Park were to begin. In 1981 the revitalised Aodh Ruadh club quickly made its mark, winning, for the first and only time to date, the AIB County Club of the Year Award. His involvement with the club's park committee remains to this day and is of critical importance to him, despite his testing schedule.

His uncanny knack to locate and deliver funds ensured major capital projects were started and completed - projects such as the stand at Fr Tierney Park, the new Aodh Ruadh Centre of Excellence at Munday's Field and the impressive Aras Aodh Ruadh, all of them ambitious and expensive projects to undertake by a club with very limited finances.

Our Hall of Fame recipient has served as chairman of this club for two terms - 1980 to 1983 and 1990 to 1992 where he combined club, county and provincial roles. He has over 25 years' continuous service with this club as chairman of its park/development committee.

On top of that he is a GAA National Vice President, the President of the Ulster Council and at 55 years of age, the youngest ever recipient of this club's Hall of Fame.

Ladies and gentlemen, the man who needs no introduction, Tom Daly.

Terence McShea makes the presentation to Tom Daly.
Terence McShea makes the presentation to Tom Daly.

Last modified: Monday, 1 June 2020 at 1:32pm