Eamonn Burns: Down All-Ireland winner passes away

Eamonn Burns
Eamonn Burns won the All-Ireland with Down in 1991 and 1994 before leading the Mournemen to the Ulster SFC final in 2017

Down's double All-Ireland winner and former manager Eamonn Burns has passed away aged 56.

Burns won the All-Ireland in 1991 and 1994 before managing the county to the 2017 Ulster final.

He left his post as Down manager in 2018 and was replaced by Paddy Tally.

"Eamonn remained a dignified figure at all times who only ever gave of his very best in the cause of Down," said a statement from the county.

Burns also served as a selector under his All-Ireland wining team-mate James McCartan in 2013 and 2014.

He was the youngest of three brothers, who all went on to play for club Bryansford and then represent Down.

The midfielder helped his county add two Ulster Senior Football Championships to their All-Ireland titles in the 1990s.

'He gave us many magical moments'

In 2015, Burns replaced Jim McCorry as Down Senior Football manager and would go on to lead the Mournemen for three seasons.

But Burns' two points from play in the 1991 All-Ireland final against Meath means it will be as a player that he will be most fondly remembered.

"It is only a few short weeks ago that Eamonn and the boys of 1994 once again adorned the sward of Croke Park as they were introduced to the crowd as the Jubilee team of 25 years ago on All-Ireland Final day," said a statement from Down GAA.

"Eamonn stepped up to the mark and took on the role of County Senior Football team manager. It was a case of serving his County when he was needed and at a time when Down football was not enjoying the best of fortune.

"He was one of the good guys, always about the greater good, always selfless with his time and only wanting to give of his best in any task that he undertook.

Down's 1994 All-Ireland winners were celebrated at this year's final between Dublin and Kerry
Down's 1994 All-Ireland winners were celebrated at this year's final between Dublin and Kerry

"Down GAA have been privileged to have Eamonn amongst our sons, he gave us as supporters many magical moments, he brought a smile to our faces and in those days of 1991 and 1994 he helped bring us glory days.

"Eamonn has been taken from us too soon, we will miss you Eamonn but we will smile in the memory of the days that you gave us. You were a true son of Down."

Bryansford also paid tribute to their former player: "It is with great sadness that we have today learned of the passing of our member Eamonn Burns.

"An All-Ireland winner with Down, he was a true legend of both club and county.

"From all at the club we extend our sincere condolences to his family at this sad time."