Tag Archives: GAA

This afternoon.

Kn writes:

Having seen the many reports of athletes collapsing and some dying in various sports recently, I thought it would be beneficial to see if the same thing is happening in GAA.

The unexpected death of any club athlete usually receives prominent local and often even national press coverage, befitting the GAA’s place at the heart of community life on the island.

Below is a list of all reported deaths by heart attacks, sudden deaths, unexpected deaths or deaths after unspecified short illnesses for all male and female GAA players and referees under 50, between 2018 until this month.

This does not include deaths after long illnesses or accidents. Nor does it include other sports. Recent reports from 2021-22 are short on detail regarding cause of death and do not give ages in many cases.

Finally, this is not meant to provoke outrage, merely a conversation that probably needs to be had.


January: (48), Naomh Comhghail GAA Club, County Antrim – dies from heart attack.
January:  (12), Bray Emmets GAA Club, County Wicklow – dies after collapse at home.
February:(14), Ballygalget GAA Club, County Down – dies suddenly.
September: (38), Tir na Nog GAA Club, County Antrim – dies suddenly.
November: Eoin Byrne (18), Clonmore GAA Club, County Carlow – dies tragically.


March:(20) St Mary’s GAA, Granard, county Longford – dies suddenly.
May: (20s) Bective Cannistown GAA Club, County Meath -Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
September: (17) Oldcastle GAA Club, County Meath – dies suddenly.
September: (19) St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick, Northern ireland – dies suddenly.


February:  (30s) Clann nan Gael GAA Club, County Roscommon –  cardiac arrest.
March: (44) Creggs GAA Club, County Roscommon –  dies suddenly
March:  (29) St Brigid’s Kiltoom GAA Club, County Roscommon – dies suddenly
October: (33), Na Fianna GAA Club, County Tyrone – dies suddenly
October: (31), Killarney Legion GAA Club, County Kerry – dies after being taken ill at work.


July: (16),  Lisnaskea Emmetts GAA Club, County Fermanagh – dies suddenly.
July:  (teens-20s), Drumgath GAA Club, County Down – dies suddenly.
July: (teens-20s), Beagh GAA Club, County Galway – dies unexpectedly
August: (35), Silverbridge Harps GFC, County Armagh – dies suddenly.
September: (40s), Colligan GAA Club, County Waterford – dies suddenly.
October: Conor Montague (teens-20s) St Paul’s GAA Club, County Laois – dies unexpectedly.
December : Sarah Mullen (23), Good Counsel GAA Club, County Dublin – dies suddenly.


January: (teens-20s), Drung GAC, County Cavan – dies suddenly.
February:  (40s), Stabannon Parnells GAC, County Louth – dies suddenly.
February: (32), County Down, founder of Shunde Gaels in Guangdong– dies suddenly
February:  (19), Glynn Barntown, County Wexford – dies suddenly.
March: (20s), St Vincent’s GAC and Castleview FC, County Cork – dies unexpectedly.
March: (20s), Fr Sheehy’s GAC, County Tipperary – dies unexpectedly.
March: (40s), Charleville Kilbeggan GAC, County Offaly – dies unexpectedly.
March:  (20s), Fuerty GAA, County Roscommon – died tragically.
March:  (40), Ballyhale Shamrocks GAC, County Kilkenny –  suspected heart attack
April: (22), Ballyea GAC, County Clare – dies suddenly.
April:  (20s) Westport GAC, County Mayo – dies suddenly.
April:  (20s) (Lurgan Ladies GFC), County Cavan, a Long QT sufferer, dies unexpectedly.
April:  (21), Curry GAA Club, County Sligo, dies suddenly
April:  (20s) John Mitchels GFC – dies tragically.
May:  (30) Graigcullen GAA, Co Laois, dies suddenly
May: (30s-40s), Bord na nOg Acla GAC, County Mayo – dies unexpectedly.

Previously: Heartbreaking

Pic: Sky Sports

Dara Ó’Cinnéide and Gemma Ní Chionnaith

This morning.

You know what we need?

NO More sport on the telly.

Via TG4:

We excited to announce the addition of SPÓRT IRIS to its upcoming summer schedule. Hosted by Kerry footballing legend Dara Ó Cinnéide and TG4 presenter Gemma Ní Chionnaith, SPÓRT IRIS will launch with a live broadcast from the opening night of Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta in Leitir Mór, Co. Galway on Friday 3rd June at 9.55pm.

Thereafter, Dara and Gemma will be joined each week in Croke Park by a panel of experts to analyse and preview all the best of the summer Sports action from the United Rugby Championship, the GAA Hurling, Football, Peil na mBan and Camogie Championships as well as the action from the Galway Races to name but a few.

Joining Dara and Gemma for the first episode will be Marc Ó Sé, Kevin Cassidy, Michael Rice, Joe Connolly along with a live interview with Waterford hurling manager Liam Cahill.

Spórt Iris on  Friday, June 3 on TG4 at 9.35pm.

Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

 DUP Councillor Margaret Tinsley

This morning.

Via Belfast Newsletter:

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council DUP Councillor Margaret Tinsley told the chamber she is fed up getting phone calls from concerned constituents about staff at the South Lake Leisure Centre wearing GAA tops instead of their council-branded uniform

“I have raised this on numerous occasions and I don’t know what it is going to take to get it sorted out,” said the DUP councillor.

“I was at the South Lake Leisure Centre on Saturday and to be fair I only saw one member of staff with a GAA top on but I am sick of my phone ringing being told that staff at this facility are wearing GAA tops.”

Complaints about leisure centre staff wearing GAA tops instead of council uniform (Belfast Newsletter)



Top pic: Aaron McCraken

Conor Meyler (Tyrone) and Paudie Clifford (Kerry) in action during the All-Ireland football semi-final last Saturday

Shay Connolly writes:

So just what happened Kerry on Saturday? Slaughtering all before them (except Dublin, of course), the bookies made them favourites to win the All-Ireland at the start of the Championship. According to commentators and journalists alike they had found the jewel that they were previously missing. A playmaker, a man who could go up and down the pitch and make it all happen. His brother David was the man everybody knew but this was the guy that was hyped up to fill the missing link in the Kerry armour. His name? Paudie Clifford.

All year he lived up to the promise and his engine was firing up and down the pitch solving conundrums and creating gift-wrapped parcels for his well known brother and other Kerry forwards as they scored goals for fun throughout the League and Championship, including six against this same Tyrone team just two months ago.

So in desperation almost, the media created a scenario where someone else was going to win the All Ireland other than Dublin. And the hype grew and grew as more money went on the Kerry boys.

Conor Myler is a 26 year old Tyrone footballer. His father played for Tyrone in the 1980s and managed his son’s team at Omagh St Endas. His son didn’t make his team! He played on the B Team. Conor couldn’t make the school team either. He was also an athlete, a cross country and road runner, competing in events throughout the Country. Hard stuff that. At 18, not having made the first team in the club or the school team he had a choice on which sport to pursue 100%.Despite all the negative signs he chose Gaelic Football.

Conor didn’t pin down a first team place with his club until 2014. They won the County Championship that year for the first time in 26 years.. Conor played a leading role. In 2015 he had made the senior County team. He broke his leg in the quarter final win over Donegal.That would be the end of anyone’s season. Not Conor. I read what he did to get back and it was self flagulation stuff in a Tibetan moneastary. He lined out against Dublin in the final eight weeks later. That was the road map that Conor brought into Saturday’s match.

In the last number of years we have constantly heard about these sparkly new diamonds from the Kingdom coming on the scene. Five All Ireland Minor football titles in a row from 2014 to 2018 and not a word about cutting the Ring of Kerry in two. These players are now on the scene. None of them has added a senior crown to their Minor crowns and after Saturday’s display they might never do so.

Kerry came out with bells and whistles ringing from their boots and togs. Half their names were households names throughout the country, even though they have won nothing. Most households would find it hard to name two or three Tyrone players. Conor Myler was given the job of marking the Kingdom’s new jewel, Paudie Clifford. He snuffed him out completely in an amazing display of man marksmanship and ball retention. And the rest is history.

Kerry believed their own hype within their own Kingdom and the hype of others outside of it.Tyrone knew they would have to street fight to win it. Kerry thought that that the jewels in their crown would sparkle with a little polish. Tyrone stole the Kingdom’s jewels and the street fighter won the contest.

Unless Kerry can learn how to become rough diamonds rather than sparkling blue sapphires then they will have to settle for being second or third best for a long time. They can take all the plaudits from around their neighbours fireside and an ever lustful media, who in trying to create a Gaelic Kingdom outside Dublin created a bunch of false pretenders.. and Kerry themselves believed it all.

Shay Connolly is a writer/songwriter, a Ringsend resident and a former Dublin Minor Hurler.

Pic by Philip Walsh via Irish News

This morning/afternoon.

O’Neill: ‘Collective leadership’ needed on masks at Croke Park (RTÉ)

Mask via Redbubble



The Limerick squad before the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Cork and Limerick in Croke Park, Dublin last Sunday

Senior hurling.

Why are Limerick so good?

Why are Dublin not as good?

Former Dublin minor hurler Shay Connolly writes:

Limerick achieved their back to back All Ireland Hurling victories on Sunday in an awesome display of power and skill of our ancient craft and, in my opinion, the game has never ever reached such high skills since its inception. It’s hard to imagine how a higher level could be achieved.

When God created Hurling, I don’t believe that he or she expected that us mere mortal humans could create such wizardry with a stick and a hard piece of cork and leather stitched together. Big, giant-like men with no more than a 34 inch piece of Ash and with the craft of an expert lumberjack felled the Cork forest in just 35 minutes.

Years ago, big men were put in central positions such as full back, not necessarily for their skill set but to act the terrorist with their opposing players and to defend their goal like the Sioux. All types of stuff went on in games years ago to get an edge on your opponent.

Psychology was one of them as you sized up your opponent in those first 10 minutes.. I once told a full back in a team I managed to say more than a few Hail Marys into the full forward’s ear and rile him up so much that he’d hit him in front of the ref and that he as a full back was to take the belt like an ancient Celtic warrior. It worked! But never would such psychological shenanigans be required by a team such as these Shannonside artsmen.

Limerick on Sunday were like the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. No note was missed, no pluck of a string over stretched, no ivory piece over leaned on as they delivered a euphony of melodious hurling skills that left their audience spellbound. But Cork let them play away unperturbed as if they were part of the audience themselves. If they were there to disrupt the orchestra, they brought the wrong music sheets.

In last year’s final, Waterford clogged the defence and the middle to try and stop the Limerick train from getting through. But Limerick didn’t try to ram through the junction. They just picked them off from further back and while 30 points from far out in the field with no goal may not have made for pleasant viewing, it didn’t matter a hoot to Limerick if it meant collecting the Liam McCarthy cup.

For me, Cork came with a game plan to counteract Limerick from last year’s final and not let them shoot cider cans from way out the field. But they got very drunk along the way. Trying to play it out of defence through the eye of an needle in the hope of getting it over Limerick’s undauntable half back line, they crashed time and time again into Limerick’s Wall Street in their own half back line.

And there to pick up the debris was Cian Lynch. A man of six eyes, he has microscopic vision of the play around him and can see moves as good as Russian chess player, Gary Kasparov. And Queen Lynch moved around the board destroying the Cork pawns and knights in his wake, even if he did get away with throwing that ball in the pass for Limerick’s first goal.

Cian Lynch is a nephew of my favourite player of all time, Ciaran Carey. I met Ciaran in the Spar shop in Ringsend a couple of years ago on the eve of the All Ireland Hurling final and an amazing thing about hurling people is that he was as interested in me as I was in him. The appreciation for the game of hurling is king and players, no matter what standard one has achieved, can chat freely about it on a level playing ground.

I remember when I used to puck a ball on Sandymount beach most week nights a few years back. Sometimes I would see different guys way off in the distance doing likewise and we would wave at each other even though we had never lay eyes on each other before. It was an acknowledgement that we were part of the Nation’s hurling family. After leaving Ciaran in the Spar shop that night little did I know that his bloodline was going to produce an even greater player than him.

I believe that the Limerick management team have studied the Dublin football set up. Their mindset is similar. ‘We play our game and we perfect it’ seems to be the identical motto.They don’t deviate from it and no matter what other teams contrive up to disrupt it they stick with their own game. The movements of their forward line is similar.

in other words you are constantly moving and creating the space, if not for yourself then for your team mates and that your first line of defence is your forward line, as it proved for Cork as they spilled ball after ball trying to get it out of defence such was the ferocity of tackling from the Limerick forwards.

There was no thirty yard pass across the pitch from Cork to switch the play, there was no corner or full back joining in the breakout to give them that option. Instead they were between two stools and they fell embarrassingly between them. There is one obvious difference in that you can’t kick a football over the bar from 80 or 90 yards. So other measures, some quite boring and tedious have to be adapted to get through packed defences..

But alas there is also another obvious difference. As I Iisten to and read about this fantastic Limerick team there is universal acknowledgement of just how great they are.When Dublin footballers had won their back to back All-Irelands and three out of four All-Irelands and in the exact same position as Limerick are today the punditry and journalists were already a long time in place with suggestions of splitting Dublin in two, the money that Dublin receive and a host other negative commentary. No matter how many times one points this out it can never ever be accepted outside Dublin that there is an inherent bias towards Dublin in Gaelic Games.

For a long time now I have held the view that this bias is deep rooted. Dublin was the centre of British Rule in Ireland.. The entire country paid their taxes to this unpopular county. The shocking laws imposed on them (and us) were initiated from Dublin etc. And despite suffering some of the worst slums and deprivation under British Rule, despite so many of them starving during the 1913 Lockout in trying to break the British system, despite so many hundreds of them from tenament housing turning out for the 1916 Rising, the County was still branded as a separate British colony within a colony.

It has never eased and despite the obstacles that the British type set here in Dublin used to prevent it gaining a hold in the “Second city of the Empire” it succeeded beyond expectation. Of course its Gaelic football I talk about as Dublin Hurlers have not succeeded since 1938 and when only one Dublin man, Jim Byrne was on the team.

God forbid if they do indeed make the breakthrough in Hurling but I doubt that they could even win one when the naysayers would begin to begrudge them that victory. In the meantime many officials, both inside and on the pitch are making sure they don’t have to deal with this headache in the first place.

A mighty well done to Limerick on your brilliant achievement and performance. It will take some team of class, strength and guile to dislodge you as All Ireland champions, even if you did give up too easily to Cromwell forces in 1651 in the Siege of Limerick!. At least us Ringsenders ordered Cromwell to move on or else when he first landed here in our small village in 1649!! Gwan the Raytowners…

Shay Connolly is a writer/songwriter, a Ringsend resident and a former Dublin Minor Hurler.

Ray McManus/Sportsfile

This morning/afternoon.

Ahead of Saturday’s All-Ireland quarter-final between Cork and Dublin shown only on Sky Sports…

“Unless we do something about it, we’re going to be stuck in a bigger county scenario where we won’t get to see our local county team playing on RTÉ. It’s beyond belief at this stage. We have had a torrid 18 months, Cork as much as everyone else needs a lift. There is a cohort of older people who are GAA supporters totally disenfranchised by this commercial decision that has left the grassroots reeling.”

Fine Gael senator Tim Lombard.

Down with the free market.

Another Cork hurling game on Sky Sports ‘a thundering disgrace’ – Senator Tim Lombard (Irish Examiner)