"Seán", a documentary by Alan Bradley aired on RTE One last night and if you missed it, it's essential viewing on the RTE Player over the next couple of days.
Sean Boylan was a one of kind figure, not just in the GAA, but in Irish life. While his football achievements are almost beyond credible - lifting Meath from football's doldrums to four All-Ireland titles and eight Leinster Championships, as well managing a winning International Rules team in Australia - his universal popularity comes not from his GAA accomplishments, but from his humility and gentle soul.
Last night's film captured the character of the man perfectly, and it was a rare night in modern Ireland - one of total and utter unanimity. Everyone agreed this film was spectacular and that Seán Boylan truly is a national treasure.
— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) August 6, 2020
— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) August 5, 2020
Naturally, a lot of the reaction came from Meath where the man is rightly a god, but also came from around the country. His Meath teams inspired great love, and also great hatred. But Boylan himself was only even respected. And his legacy goes far beyond just Meath football.
Naturally, some of those who played for him at Meath or Ireland were quick to pay tribute to the man.
Incredible man is Sean Boylan. Can never thank him enough for everything I learned from him & Still to this day he would do anything for you. True legend
— Jody Devine (@Jodydevine12) August 6, 2020
— Joe sheridan (@Squarecut84) August 6, 2020
What a brilliant man Sean Boylan is. An absolute privilege to have looked back on my career and to have been managed by him for Ireland 🇮🇪 An inspirational manager that had an unbelievable presence in a dressing room #Sean
— Steven McDonnell (@StevenMcD13) August 6, 2020
Sean Boylan...what a man. Privileged to have played for him in Aus in 08. First played against him in 2000. We Eamonn C and him so similar in character and at that stage Derry and Meath had a great rivalry. Very few could man manage like them
— Paddy Bradley (@PaddyB14) August 6, 2020
One of the greatest men I’ve been managed by , one of life’s great characters. He always knew the right thing to say & I’m very honoured to say I played for him #Sean #SeanBoylan pic.twitter.com/YokQTFJy0J
— Aidan O Mahony (@GmailMahony) August 7, 2020
Current players and GAA greats who never worked directly with the man were equally inspired.
A lot of people say don’t meet your heroes but when you meet Sean Boylan you realize that saying can’t be true cause he is the biggest gent and legend you’ll ever come across!! 1 of the best documentaries I’ve ever watched.. What a man💚 #Sean
— Andrew Tormey (@Andytormey) August 6, 2020
Sean Boylan in the top two greatest men I have ever met. Everyone told me I was f**ked and going to miss one of biggest matches of my life. Rang Sean he says I’ll see you in the morning. #playedthematch #won🏁 #magicdust #legend
— Conor Laverty (@ConorLav14) August 6, 2020
Sean Boylan story truly fascinating comes across as such a down to earth quietly passionate man. Suffered under Meath and sean on many big days-league final 94, all Ireland semi final 99 and that’s not even mentioning minor final 92.😩Nothing but respect for them all #competitors
— Diarmaid Marsden (@marsdendiarmaid) August 6, 2020
— Eamonn O’ Hara (@EamonnOHara8) August 6, 2020
— Henry Shefflin (@ShefflinHenry) August 6, 2020
Boylan some man 👌
— Anthony Daly (@DaloAnto) August 6, 2020
Great show on Sean Boylan.Humble, passionate,honest and a winner.Some man...
— Gary Sice (@gsice) August 6, 2020
Media, politicians, Irish sporting greats, and general GAA fans were also in unanimous agreement.
Sean Boylan to me is the best manager in GAA history..way easier for Micko or Jim Gavin win All Irelands in title rich traditional counties.. Even Brian Cody has a conveyor belt of All Ireland winners from St Kierans coming in yearly.. Sean Boylan lifted Meath up by himself #sean
— Stephen Gleeson (@StephenGleeson_) August 6, 2020
Overwhelming humanity of Sean Boylan, to borrow a Codyism, ordinariness of an extraordinary man shines through. Connection to place, self & others
— Karl O'Kane (@KarlOKane) August 6, 2020
— Dermot Keyes (@DermotKeyes) August 6, 2020
Jesus Christ I absolutely love my county and there's no doubt that Seàn Boylan has had an influence in that for me and many others. What an absolute legend, we'll never ever see the like again! Didn't lift my phone once during that! #Sean #Meath #Anmhíabu
— David Rispin (@Davy_Rispin) August 6, 2020
— Hector (@hectorirl) August 6, 2020
— Pat McGrath (@patmcgrath) August 6, 2020
— Barry Geraghty (@BarryJGeraghty) August 6, 2020
— Joe O Reilly (@JumpinJoe90) August 6, 2020
Actually inspired after the Sean Boylan doc - I know he was being modest at the end but as, by any definition a mediocre person myself, I couldn’t help but be filled with hope that maybe one day I can do something with my life.
— Pete Farrell 🇨🇮 (@PeteFarrell14) August 6, 2020
— John Pakenham (@johnpakenham3) August 6, 2020
‘In life, you may not be able to do things as good as other people - but don't be afraid of being as good as other people. Just be yourself and be as good as you can’
I would die for Sean Boylan
— Tom O'Connor (@TommyOC92) August 6, 2020
— Sinéad Hussey (@SineadHus) August 6, 2020
Wonderfu documentary @rte on @MeathGAA legendary manager, #SeanBoylan .What a man! 3 Leagues, 8 Leinsters & 4 All Ir.’s. No ‘shyness’ on the field by @MeathGAA ! Hope Meath bounce back. #Sean , the herbalist, a fab. fellow, would do anything to help someone. Gaiscíoch Ríoga ! pic.twitter.com/Ba0rtMdfaP
— Seán Kelly MEP (@SeanKellyMEP) August 6, 2020
Sean Boylan is just a great man that tries to get the best out of people in every walk of life. He understood that a happy player is more likely to perform. Mick Lyons didn’t say anything but still scared all the dubs that watched that! #Sean
— Ian O' Rourke (@ianorourketweet) August 6, 2020
If you missed a show with such universal approval, you can watch it now on the RTE Player.