Northern Ireland

Tributes paid to Liam Peoples - one of the 'most dedicated' figures in Derry GAA

Liam Peoples, who died on Sunday. Picture from Derry GAA/Facebook
Liam Peoples, who died on Sunday. Picture from Derry GAA/Facebook

A former Derry GAA senior board member has been remembered as one of the "finest volunteers" in Gaelic games following his death.

Liam Peoples (60) died at his Claudy home on Sunday, prompting tributes from his former colleagues.

Owner of the Glen Bar at Claudy's Dungiven Road, Mr Peoples previously worked with Derry GAA in roles including county secretary, vice-chair, cultural officer and treasurer.

In his younger days he played for Derry's minor football team, and was goalkeeper during the squad's 1981 All-Ireland final clash with Cork.

In a statement posted to social media, a Derry GAA spokesperson said the organisation was "deeply saddened" to learn of Mr Peoples' death, and said he would be "sorely missed".

"Liam Peoples was not only one of the longest serving officers in Derry GAA, he was one of the most dedicated, the most hard working and the most generous with his time," they said.

"A proud Claudy, Derry and Ulster Gael, Liam Peoples was one of the GAA's finest volunteers."

Mr Peoples was also a member of Claudy club John Mitchel's GAC, and a spokesperson expressed "disbelief" at "the sudden passing of our esteemed committee member, club secretary and friend, Liam Peoples"

"We are deeply saddened by the news of Liam’s passing and wish to extend our condolences to his family and friends," they added in a statement.

The club's chairperson, Tommy White, told the Irish News: "Liam was a big, big part of the club. He was the heartbeat of John Mitchel's and we are devastated at his loss."

Fellow former Derry GAA treasurer, Michael Hassan, said in a post: "Liam - always the gentleman and Gael to the core - was my friend and a very knowledgeable colleague on the county board for years, and I can’t believe that he’s departed at such a young age. May he rest in peace."

Limavady's Glack GAC said in a tribute post that Mr Peoples was a "really good friend" to its members.

"Liam epitomised everything that was good about the GAA, nothing was a bother to him, helpful in every way and always available to help with his time and knowledge," a spokesperson said.

"He was a regular face at our functions and dinner dances over the years. To his brothers and the wider family we offer our sincere condolences at this sad time."

Mr Peoples was involved with Dungiven Outdoor Bowling Club, and a spokesperson said in a statement: "Liam was one of life’s gentlemen and couldn’t do enough for the club and its members.

"The committee and members of the club would like to extend their condolences to Liam’s family and friends."

A death notice described Mr Peoples as the "beloved son of the late Terence and Vera R.I.P, loving brother of Declan and Jarlath and fond brother-in-law of Siobhan".

His funeral will take place on Wednesday at St Patrick’s Church, Claudy, followed by a burial service at the adjoining cemetery.