Jack Boothman: Funeral of first Protestant president of GAA has taken place

Jack Boothman Image copyright Inpho
Image caption Jack Boothman served as the GAA's president between 1994 and 1997

The funeral of Jack Boothman, the first Protestant president of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), has taken place in Blessington, County Wicklow in the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Boothman died on Tuesday.

He is widely recognised as being instrumental in pressing for the abolition of the GAA's rule 21.

The rule controversially banned members of the Army and members of the security forces in Northern Ireland from playing Gaelic games.

A veterinary surgeon by profession, he served as the association's president between 1994 and 1997.

GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail paid tribute to his predecessor: "Jack Boothman was a man I considered to be a friend and he served the GAA with distinction.

"I had the privilege of knowing him since the 1980s and have very fond memories of attending an Irish language course with him and Joe McDonagh in the Meath Gaeltacht of Ráth Chairn.

"He was great company."

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