Philly McMahon story best captures the kind of club-man St Vincent's legend Brian Mullins was 2 months ago

Philly McMahon story best captures the kind of club-man St Vincent's legend Brian Mullins was

Brian Mullins moved to Carndonagh, Donegal, in 1991, where he become the principal of the country's largest secondary school.

He remained in the Hills for nine years, from 1991 to 2000, and it was during that period when, due to his re-location, he took over the Derry footballers as manager in 1996. He won a National League title with the Oak Leaf that year and followed up it up in 1998, with an Ulster final win over Donegal.

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But during all that time, as reported in the Irish Independent this Saturday morning, he never let his membership in St Vincent's GAA club lapse.

Because Brian Mullins was St Vincent's through and through.

It's no wonder then that, just hours after news of his passing filtered through, there was a very sombre mood in Parnell Park on Friday night when his home club took on Na Fianna in the Dublin senior camogie final. The mood was bittersweet when they won.

Journalist Jerome Quinn was at the Donnycarney ground and, for every St Vincent's club person he spoke to, each one of them shocked to the core, the common theme was that Mullins was a stalwart and a legend who gave everything he had to the Marino-based club.

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"Brian was a club-man first," said PRO Dermot Daly.

"He's known for his prowess in the 80s with Dublin. But we know him as a club-man. He's a former chairman, he managed juvenile teams, senior teams and even back in January, he put his hand up to be the adult senior games director. So do you know, a total club-man, he wouldn't want it any other way. Tonight's definitely going ahead."

Mullins joined the St Vincent's club as a 16-year-old but, having gone on to represent Leinster in rugby and cricket at under-19 level, it was clear that the Clontarf youngster was a widely-skilled sports-man.

Gaelic football was his number one though, and in an illustrious career that saw him win five All-Irelands (incl. one club with St Vincent's,) two All-Stars and two National Leagues, he became widely renowned as one of the greatest midfielders ever.

But his love for his club remained strong. And, perhaps, in that sense, it was a tweet from Philly McMahon that summed up this feisty character best.

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"Played a league game few years ago against St Vincents and I heard an umpire giving me stick. Turned around and it was Brian Mullins, a Dublin legend giving me stick! I was happy with that. Loved the way he played and how passionate he was about the game,even as an umpire. RIP."

May the great man Rest in Peace.

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