I have just been informed of the sad news of the passing of John Buckley the founder and past President of the National German Shepherd Working Dog Association (GSA Ireland).

John laid the foundation of what the GSA stands for today “The German Shepherd is a Working Dog” and I believe I am well qualified to make this statement as I was very closely associated with John in those early days and knew very well the dreams and aspirations he had for the creation of a breed and working club in accordance with the teaching of Captain Von Stephanitz.

John remained as the President for some forty years contributing a lifetime of support to the GSA and the German Shepherd Dog and bringing to Ireland recognition not offered to any other country with such a small population as this island.

It is a further tribute to John that Ireland in the year 2013 finished in the third position in the WUSV World IPO Championships in America thus vindicating the training methods introduced by John, accepted by the Verein fϋr Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV) in Germany and fully recognized by the WUSV (World Union of German Shepherd Dog Clubs) of which Ireland (represented by the GSA) are one of a membership of 78 countries.

John has left to Ireland a legacy that is not repayable. We as members of the GSA and those who will never know John owe him a deep sense of gratitude.

I know his own wish would be that we accept it, cherish it and continue to develop and protect this wonderful breed.

Cedric Blackbourne

President (GSA Ireland)