GAA Museum Hall of Fame

The GAA Museum Hall of Fame serves as a permanent reminder to the greatness of the players who adorned our game at the highest level.

It is important that these players are remembered not only by those who were lucky enough to see them, but crucially by those who did not have that privilege.

The award embraces the totality of the skills required to have made an exceptional and enduring impact in football and hurling, including individual skills and a clear contribution to overall team performance and sportsmanship.

GAA Museum Hall of Fame Inductees

Waterford’s Pat McGrath starred for the Waterford hurling team from 1970 through to 1986. Throughout his 16-year senior inter-county career he was renowned for his skillful style of play and defensive exploits. 
 
He first lined out for the Waterford minors before being called into the senior panel in 1970.  It wasn’t until the following year that he made his senior inter-county debut against Tipperary in a Munster championship game.  In 1974, Pat was captain when Waterford made history by reaching the U-21 Munster Hurling Final for the first time.  The team progressed to the All-Ireland decider after victory over Antrim.  However, the ultimate prize eluded him going down in the final to Kilkenny.
 
Pat played inter-provincial hurling with Munster, winning two Railway Cups in 1976 and 1978 and played his club hurling with the famous Mount Sion club, winning seven Waterford senior championships. His sons Ken and Eoin were keys member of the Waterford team in more recent years.

Noel Skehan enjoyed a senior inter-county career with Kilkenny that spanned the years 1963 to 1985, during which time he won nine All-Ireland senior titles, eight Leinster titles, three National Hurling Leagues and four Railway Cups with Leinster.  In 1962, he won an All-Ireland minor title before being selected for the county’s senior hurling panel in 1963 as understudy to his cousin and legendary goalkeeper Ollie Walsh.
 
For the next nine championship seasons Noel made some cameo appearances as a substitute before being elevated. In 1972 Noel succeeded in displacing Walsh as the number-one goalkeeper on the Kilkenny team and reached the decider against Cork. The win gave Noel his first All-Ireland title win on the field of play and he had the honour of lifting the Liam MacCarthy Cup. 
 
Noel’s record of nine All-Ireland medals stood until September 2012, when Henry Shefflin equaled the record as Kilkenny won a 34th senior championship.  Noel also enjoyed success at club level with Bennettsbridge winning six senior county titles.
 
Noel was also a selector with the Kilkenny senior hurlers when they captured back-to-back All-Ireland titles in 2002 and 2003.  In those same years, he also guided Leinster to two Railway Cups titles.
 

From an early age, it was evident that Micheál Kearins, Sligo had tremendous natural ability and was destined to become one of the greatest forwards of all time.  He played his first game for Sligo at minor level in 1960 against Galway and made his senior inter-county debut in 1961. In all, he played senior inter-county football with Sligo for 18 consecutive years (1961 – 1978).  Micheál scored 36 goals and 1,158 points in 215 games while playing for Sligo.
 
In 1975, he was instrumental in Sligo winning the Connacht Senior Football Championship for the first time in 47 years. In the provincial semi-final against Galway, he scored 10 points and proved to be a handful for the Galway defence.  He represented Connacht on the Railway Cup team from 1963 until 1975 and won Railway Cup medals in 1967 and 1969. In 1971, he became the first Sligo player to be awarded an All Star when he was selected at left-half forward in the inaugural All Star football team. 
 
In 1984 he was named in the special selection GAA Centenary Football team, comprising players who had never won an All-Ireland Senior Championship medal.
 

Mick O'Dwyer is without doubt one of the most iconic figures in the history of the GAA, having enjoyed a 60-year involvement as player and then manager at the highest level of football. The Waterville native was revered as one of the finest players of his generation, before embarking on the most successful management career in the history of the game.
 
Mick lined out with the Kerry minor team in 1954 and went on to win four All-Ireland football titles as well as seven League medals in a senior inter-county career that lasted from 1957 to 1974.
 
It was as a manager that ‘Micko’ made his greatest mark in the GAA,  managing his native Kerry as well as Kildare, Laois, Wicklow and Clare over a remarkable managerial career spanning five decades.
 
He managed the great Kerry team of the 1970s and 1980s to eight All-Ireland titles, including a four-in-a-row. He then managed Kildare to two Leinster titles, in 1998 and 2000, ending a 32-year wait for a provincial title in the process.  He guided Laois to the 2003 Leinster title, their first such crown since 1946. He went on to manage Wicklow and Clare before calling time on a remarkable GAA career in January 2014.  Over the course of his GAA career, Mick won a total of 12 All-Irelands, 25 provincial titles and 10 National Leagues as player and manager.
 

Jimmy Barry-Murphy is regarded as one of the best dual players in GAA history. But it was as a hurler that he achieved most, winning five All-Ireland senior hurling medals and five hurling All Stars between 1976 and 1986.
During a 13-year senior inter-county playing career, Jimmy played for the Cork senior hurling and football teams and represented Munster in the inter-provincial Railway Cup championships. 

At club level, Jimmy was also a dual All-Ireland medalist with St. Finbarrs.

After starting his career as a dual player at minor level, Jimmy graduated to the Cork senior football team in 1973. Between then and 1980 he won one All-Ireland senior football medal, two Munster senior championship and a National Football League.  

His inter-county hurling career with Cork produced five All-Ireland medals, two National Hurling League medals and a record-equaling ten Munster championship medals. Jimmy was an All Star on seven occasions – twice for football and five times for hurling.
A superb stylist, he was especially effective as a goal scorer. His hurling All Stars were awarded for his “rare style”, “splendid skill and ball control and his outstanding opportunism” along with his “exciting ability to snatch scoring chances”.

In retirement from playing Jimmy Barry-Murphy turned his hand to coaching. A successful spell in charge of the Cork minor hurlers led to the beginning of a five-year tenure with the senior team in 1996. During that period he guided Cork to an All-Ireland title, two Munster titles and a National League title. He later became involved in club management with St. Finbarr's and Cloughduv.

Jimmy returned for a second spell as manager of the Cork senior team from 2011 to 2015.
 

Jimmy Keaveney is a legend of the great Dublin team of the 1970s and was renowned for his accurate place-kicking ability. During a 14-year inter-county career, Jimmy won three All-Ireland senior titles, six Leinster titles, two National Leagues and three All Stars. With his club, St. Vincents, Jimmy won an impressive ten senior county championships and a coveted All-Ireland Club Championship in 1976.

He made his senior inter-county debut in 1964 and won a Leinster title in 1965.  However over the next eight years Dublin failed to reach another provincial decider.  In 1973, Jimmy announced his retirement from inter-county football.

In 1974 Kevin Heffernan took over as Dublin manager. Jimmy’s inter-county retirement was short-lived as Heffernan persuaded him to return to the team.   Dublin defeated Meath in the Leinster final in 1974 and Jimmy won a second provincial championship medal. Dublin marched on to the All-Ireland final and secured victory over Galway.  Jimmy won his first All-Ireland medal and collected his first All Star Award.

In 1976 and 1977 Dublin won back-to-back All-Ireland titles, with Jimmy leading from the front. He was named Footballer of the Year in 1976 and 1977. His second of three All Stars in 1977 was awarded for the “continued subtlety of his attacking play and his notable marksmanship”.

Jimmy played his club football with St. Vincents, winning nine senior county championships from 1964 to 1977 and two Leinster senior club championships.  In 1976 St. Vincent’s outclassed Roscommon Gaels in the All-Ireland Club Final and Jimmy won a coveted All-Ireland club championship medal.   His great passion for hurling also bestowed a further three Dublin senior county hurling championship medals.
 
 

Dermot Earley is widely regarded as one of the most popular and charismatic Gaelic footballers of all time.    A born leader on the football pitch, as a player he was equally brilliant at midfield or centre-forward.  
 
In 1966 Dermot played minor, under-21, junior and senior football for Roscommon, winning an All-Ireland under-21 medal when Roscommon beat Kildare.  He won the first of five Connacht championship medals in 1972. A two-time All Star, he won a National League medal (1979), and two Railway Cup medals (1967 and 1969). 
 
In 1980 Dermot and his Roscommon team mates suffered a heartbreaking loss to Kerry in the All-Ireland Senior Football Final.  Dermot is regarded by many as one of the greatest players never to have won an All-Ireland senior medal.
 
Dermot wore the primrose and blue of his beloved Roscommon for 22 years, playing his last county game for Roscommon against Mayo in the Connacht Championship Final in 1985.

Mayo won convincingly that day but the occasion will forever be remembered for the sportsmanship of the Mayo players who carried Dermot Earley shoulder high in recognition of his greatness as a footballer.
 

John O'Keeffe from Tralee was one of the most stylish and accomplished full-backs in Gaelic football history.   A member of the Austin Stacks club, John was part of the Kerry senior team from 1969 until 1984.   During that time, he won seven All-Ireland senior championships, 12 Munster championships, seven National Leagues and eight Railway Cups.   In 1975, he was named Texaco Footballer of the Year and he is a five-time GAA All Star.
 
He won five Kerry senior county football championships with Austin Stacks and was captain in 1976 when the team went on to enjoy provincial and then All-Ireland success.  While at St. Brendan’s College in Killarney, John was part of the side that won the school’s first Hogan Cup title in 1969.  He also won a county minor hurling title with Austin Stacks in 1967.

While at college in UCD, John won a Dublin County Championship in 1974, and the Leinster Club Championships and All-Ireland Club Championships in 1973-74 and 1974-75. He also won Sigerson Cup medals in 1973, 1974, and 1975.
 
Having retired on medical advice after the 1984 Munster Final, John went on to have management roles with the Ireland International Rules team and was a selector with the senior Kerry team.
 

John Connolly enjoyed a 14-year senior inter-county career with the Galway hurling team and achieved All-Ireland success with both club and county.   Born in Leitir Móir, John was the eldest of the seven Connolly brothers who played with distinction for Galway and Castlegar.   Alongside his brothers Michael and Joe (captain) he was part of the Galway team that triumphed in the 1980 All-Ireland decider when the Tribesmen bridged a 57-year gap to win the county’s first All-Ireland title since 1923.
 
John arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of 17 when he played with the Galway minor team before later joining the under-21 side.  He would go on to play a key role for Galway for more than a decade, winning a coveted All-Ireland medal in 1980, a National League and two All Star Awards in 1971 and 1979.  His first All Star in 1971 was also Galway’s first hurling All Star and in 1980 he was named Texaco Hurler of the Year.  
With Castlegar, he also achieved All-Ireland success when, along with four of his brothers, he won an All-Ireland senior club championship title in 1980.   At club level John won six Galway senior titles and four Connacht championships.
 
In retirement from playing, John Connolly became involved in team management and coaching. He has served as a coach and selector with the Galway senior team, while at club level he also served as manager of the Castlegar senior team.
 

In a glittering career, Tony Doran of Wexford may not have been awarded the inter-county silverware his talent so thoroughly deserved, but his fame is spread all over Ireland.  
 
Just four years after making his senior inter-county debut at the age of 18, Tony enjoyed All-Ireland hurling success with Wexford, scoring two clinical goals against Tipperary that changed the pattern of the game. From eight points down at the break, Wexford carved out a historic victory by 5 - 8 to 3 - 12.

In 1976 Tony was awarded an All Star and was named Texaco Hurler of the Year in 1976.  Along with his coveted All-Ireland medal, he won two National League medals in 1967/68 and 1972/73.  

With his club, Buffer’s Alley, he won 11 county senior championships and two provincial club championships.  In 1989, at the age of 43, Tony won an All-Ireland senior club title with Buffer’s Alley – a victory that is regarded by the legendary Wexford man as the greatest highlight and achievement of his illustrious career.
 
 

Kilkenny’s Frank Cummins is widely recognised as one of the all-time greatest midfielders in hurling. Between 1968 and his retirement from senior inter-county hurling in 1984 he won eight All-Ireland senior medals with Kilkenny – seven on the field of play. 

He joined the Kilkenny senior team for an Oireachtas game in 1966, was a non-playing substitute when Kilkenny won the All-Ireland in 1967 before he secured a regular place on the team in 1968. In addition to All-Ireland honours, Frank won 11 Leinster titles, three National Leagues and six Railway Cups.  He was named on the All Star hurling team on four occasions and, in 1983, he was named Texaco Hurler of the Year.  

At club level, Frank also enjoyed remarkable success.  Following secondary school in Belcamp College, where he played hurling and football and won a Leinster medal in the latter sport, he played junior hurling with Knocktopher, the forerunner of the famous Ballyhale Shamrocks club.  After joining the ranks of the Gardai, he was posted to Cork where he joined the Blackrock club.  Frank played a pivotal part in a brilliant Blackrock team that won six county titles, five Munster club titles, and three All-Ireland club titles.
 

Pádraig Horan enjoyed an 18-year senior inter-county hurling career with Offaly. The St. Rynagh’s club man played at full-forward and won two All-Irelands, four Leinster titles, three Railway Cups and was an All Star in 1985. He had the honour of being captain when Offaly won its first ever All-Ireland senior hurling title in 1981.   

Having first come to prominence on the inter-county scene as a dual-player with the Offaly minor and under-21 teams, Pádraig made his first appearance with the Offaly senior hurlers during the 1968-69 National League.    However, it wasn’t until 1980 that Offaly emerged from the doldrums to qualify for only a second Leinster final in 50 years against reigning All-Ireland champions, Kilkenny.  A remarkable 3–17 to 5–10 victory gave Pádraig his first Leinster championship medal. 

Offaly successfully defended their provincial title in 1981 and advanced to the All-Ireland final where they defeated reigning champions Galway.  It was Offaly’s first All-Ireland senior hurling title. Pádraig won a second All-Ireland title in 1985 before retiring the following year.

At club level, Pádraig won 11 Offaly senior county club championships and was a three-time Leinster medallist with St. Rynagh's. In retirement from playing Pádraig became involved in team management and coaching. He managed the Offaly team to the county’s first National League title in 1991.

At club level he has managed his own club St. Rynaghs as well as Birr, who he guided to an All-Ireland senior club title in 1995.  
 


Jack O’Shea grew up in the town of Cahirciveen, South Kerry and is regarded by many as one of the all-time greats of Gaelic football.   Jack made his debut for Kerry in the 1974 Munster Minor Championship against Waterford.  The following year, he won a Munster minor medal and the first of three All-Ireland U-21 titles. He first lined out for the Kerry senior team in the National League in 1976 and, over the course of his 16-year inter-county career, he won seven All-Ireland senior titles, ten Munster titles, three National Leagues and six consecutive All Star Awards from 1980 to 1985.

Jack made 53 senior championship appearances with Kerry, scoring 11-55.  Ten of these appearances were as a forward.  He is the only player to have won the Texaco Footballer of the Year Award on four occasions – 1980, 1981, 1984 and 1985.    

Jack represented Ireland in nine International Rules Tests against Australia. He played three tests in each of the 1984, 1986 and 1990 series.  In 1990, he was awarded the Harry Beitzel Medal as the outstanding player of the series.

In 1984, he was named alongside the legendary Mick O’Connell at midfield on the GAA Team of the Century.

Offaly’s Matt Connor is regarded by many as one of the most talented and powerful forwards ever to play Gaelic football, and is remembered the length and breadth of the country for his artistry on the field. 

 A three-time All Star, Matt starred for Offaly from 1978 to 1984, winning three Leinster titles and an All-Ireland in 1982 when Offaly famously denied Kerry an elusive “five-in-a-row” after the Kingdom won consecutive titles from 1978 – 1981.   

His greatest performance was the All-Ireland semi-final of 1980 against Kerry, when he scored an astonishing 2-9, only to see Kerry win a high scoring game by five points.  In 26 championship appearances, he scored 13 goals and 142 points.

With his club, Walsh Island, Matt won six Offaly senior county titles and was an instrumental part of the team that won back-to-back Leinster club titles in 1979 and 1980.

The sheer volume of Matt's success is astounding, given the fact his career ended at the age of 25 following a car accident on Christmas Day in 1984. The young Garda was as famous for his footballing talents as he was for his sportsmanship and gentle disposition. In a wheelchair since the accident, he has worked as a selector with the Offaly seniors in the past and was involved in the Irish international rules setup when old sparring partner, Kerry’s John O’Keeffe became manager.

Joe Kernan is a giant of Gaelic Football. The Crossmaglen Rangers man was a star player for his county in a stunning career that lasted from 1971 to 1987 and yielded All-Stars in 1977 and 1982 and Ulster Championships in 1977, 1980 and 1982.

A winner of five county senior titles in his career, more success would come when he moved to management and was responsible for ushering in a phenomenal long period of success for his club with Crossmaglen starting with the 1997 AIB All-Ireland Club Championship. In 2002 he guided Armagh to their first ever All-Ireland senior crown and after a later spell in charge of Galway he managed Ireland to International Rules success over Australia in 2015.

Leonard Enright enjoyed a lengthy inter county career throughout the 70s and 80s as the Patrickswell man established himself as one of the finest full backs of his generation.

Renowned as an imposing defender who combined strength and determination with a subtle touch and a shrewd awareness. Part of the Limerick panel in the 1973 All-Ireland final, Enright won Munster titles in 1980 and 1981 and League titles in 1984 and 1985. At a time of fierce competition for this position, he was the All-Star full-back in 1980, 1981 and 1983, and he was later synonymous with the development of Gaelic Games in Mary Immaculate College.

GAA Museum Updates

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