John Horan became the first native Dubliner to be elected Uachtarán Cumann Luthchleas Gael in almost 100 years when he assumed office in February of 2018.
The 58 year-old school principal is the first Dub since Daniel McCarthy (1921-1924) to be GAA President and secured the nomination after a significant victory in the 2016 Uachtarán Tofa election.
As the son of parents hailing from Wexford and Laois, he grew up in a staunch GAA environment.
Indeed, there was little chance of escaping Croke Park and the GAA growing up as he did on Marguerite Road in Glasnevin - which is a couple of long pucs from Jones’ Road and would rumble to the roar of big crowds on match days.
Like so many young people of his time he benefitted from going to matches with his family and being ‘lifted’ over the stiles and into the hallowed ground beyond.
Inspired by those visits to Croke Park, it was a natural progression to become involved in Na Fianna GAA Club where he played from juvenile to adult level and later carved a niche for himself as a coach of real quality.
His ability to get the best out of young players was honed by his work with school teams in St Vincent’s CBS in Glasnevin where he was a teacher and later principal. Among those to benefit from his guidance would be future All-Ireland senior medal winners and Hill 16 heroes like Dessie Farrell, Jason Sherlock and Jonny Cooper.
Throughout the 2000s he was involved with Dublin minor football teams, first as a selector and later as manager, where he was again involved in working with future stars on the breakthrough All-Ireland winning Dublin senior team of 2011.
It was this work at underage and schools level that brought him to the attention of the Leinster Council where he was brought in and involved on Post Primary School and Coaching and Games Committees.
Despite not having served as a county chairman or secretary, Horan was elected Vice Chairman of the Leinster Council for three years and served as Leinster Chairman for three years from 2013-2016.
Throughout this time Coaching and Games Development continued to be top priorities. He also was the first Leinster Chairman to take the Dublin senior footballers out of Croke Park in 10 years.
He was an emphatic winner of the Presidential election held in February of 2016 when he secured 144 first round votes to clinch the right to succeed Aogán Ó Fearghail.
Married to Paula from Meath and with two sons Jack and Liam, John Horan became the 39th President of the GAA and quickly set an agenda looking to connect with Clubs and volunteers, simplifying the rule book and tackling the threat of elitism in underage development squads as early priorities.