TIPPERARY’S GAA PRESIDENTS
Tipperary has had 3 Presidents of the GAA. Maurice Davin of Carrick on Suir had two terms as president, being the first to hold the office at the foundation of the GAA in 1884, and also held office for a year in 1888. The next man representing Tipp to hold the presidential office was Seamus Gardiner, a native of Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, but who came to Borrisokane as a schoolteacher. He was an outstanding GAA official and was President of the GAA between 1943 and 1946. His son Fr. Seamus Gardiner is currently P.R.O. of the Munster Council. The third Tipperary man to hold presidential office was Seamus O’Riain of Moneygall, who held office between 1967 and 1970. Seamus is currently president of the Tipp county board.
PLAYED IN ALL THE GRADES
Eoin Kelly in 2000 became the first, and so far only man to play for Tipperary hurlers in Minor, Under 21, and Senior grades in the same championship season.
CAPTAINS SUPREME – LEADERS OF MEN
Mikey Maher of Tubberadora (Boherlahan) shares with Dick Walsh of Kilkenny, and Christy Ring of Cork the distinction of captaining 3 All-Ireland senior hurling championship winning teams. Mikey’s years of captaincy were 1895, 1896, and 1898.
Johnny Leahy of Boherlahan hold the record for captaining Munster senior hurling championship winning teams. He captained Tipp to 5 Munster championships, in 1916, ’17, ’22, ’24, and ’25.
He also captained Tipp to win the All-Ireland titles of 1916 and 1925, which makes him the first Tipperary man to receive the Liam McCarthy cup. He is also the only man from any county to captain an All-Ireland winning team in both the pre McCarthy cup era, and after the trophy came into being. Johnny was also Tipp’s first National League winning captain in 1928.
Along with the aforementioned pair, Mikey Maher and Johnny Leahy, Jimmy Doyle is the only other man to captain Tipperary to two All-Ireland senior victories, which he did in 1962 and 1965. Tony Wall accepted the cup for the injured captain after the 1962 final, which along with Wall’s victorious 1958 captaincy makes him the only Tipp man to receive the McCarthy cup twice even though he was captain only once.
Jimmy Doyle (1963, ’66), Pat Stakelum (1950, ’52), and Tony Wall (1959, ’61) are the only Tipperary men to have captained more than one Railway cup winning team. No player from any county has captained more than two successful inter-provincial winning teams.
Jimmy Doyle and Tony Wall are two of only four men to have captained All-Ireland senior and minor winning teams. Jimmy, as already mentioned, captained the Tipp seniors in 1962 & ’65, having led the minors in 1957. Tony Wall achieved his distinction in 1952 and 1958. The other players to have achieved this are Sean Condon of Cork and Brian Cody of Kilkenny.
Tomas Dunne (2001), Jimmy Doyle (1965), Matt Hassett (1961), Sean Kenny (1950), and Pat Stakelum (1949), share the distinction of captaining Tipperary to National League and All-Ireland honours in the same year. Tipp did the “double” in other years but with separate captains.
Between October 1949 and March 1951, Sean Kenny of Borris-Ileigh was presented with the National League trophy, the Munster championship trophy, the McCarthy cup, the Railway Cup, the Mid and North senior hurling championship trophies, and the Dan Breen cup twice. During this time he also captained Tipp to win the Thomond tournament and the Monaghan Cup (the forerunner of the “Wembley” tournament). Pat Stakelum had a similar record between 1949 and March 1950, when as captain he held the League trophy, the McCarthy cup, the Monaghan cup, the Oireachtas trophy, and in March 1950 - the Railway cup. While his club did win the county title during this time, Pat wasn't captain.
Philip Kennedy of Eire Og Nenagh shares with Dan Murphy of Cork (1997,’98) the distinction of captaining two All-Ireland Under 21 winning teams. Philip’s years were 1980 and 1981.
Holycross-Ballycahill, and Roscrea share the honour of being the only Tipperary clubs to have provided All-Ireland winning captains in the Senior, Minor, and Under 21 grades. Roscrea have provided Tadhg O’Connor at senior level (1971), Francis Loughnane (1964) and Michael Scully (1985) at Under 21 level, and Joe Fletcher (1933) and Joe Hogan (1976) at Minor. In the case of Holycross, Pat Stakelum (1949) and Declan Carr (1991) captained the seniors, Michael Doyle (1979) captained the Under 21s, and Dinny O’Gorman captained the minors in 1932. Holycross can also claim to have had a Junior winning captain as the leader of the successful 1952 Al-Ireland Junior winning Dublin team was Liam Skelly of Holycross, who had won an All-Ireland minor medal with Tipp five years previously.
Moycarkey-Borris have provided All-Ireland winning captains in three grades, Senior, Minor, and Junior. Their representatives are Ned Hayes (1900) and Tim Condon (1899) at senior level, John O’Grady (1949) and Pat Ryan (1956) at minor, and Phil Purcell (1924) in the Junior grade.
RECORD MEDAL WINNERS
Mickey “the rattler” Byrne, the legendary Thurles Sarsfields hurler, holds a record 14 county senior hurling championship medals. He also holds 5 All-Ireland senior medals, and 8 National League medals.
John Doyle of Holycross shares with Christy Ring a record 8 All-Ireland senior medals won on the field of play. He also holds a record 11 National League medals. With 10 Munster championship medals, he also shares with Jimmy Barry Murphy of Cork the record for that competition.
John Doyle and Jimmy Doyle share with Christy Ring, the national record for All-Ireland inter-county medals won on the field of play. The both have won 9 medals. John won 8 senior and 1 Minor (1947), and Jimmy has 6 senior and 3 minor.
Jimmy Doyle and Michael Craddock of Thurles Sarsfields are the only players to have won 3 All-Ireland minor hurling medals. Having also participated in the 1954 final, Jimmy Doyle is the only hurler to have played in 4 minor All-Ireland finals.
Pat Fox shares with a number of Cork hurlers the honour of having won 3 All-Ireland Under 21 medals on the field of play. That was in 1979, ’80, and ’81. Brian Heffernan of Nenagh Eire Og, and Donie O’Connell of Killenaule were also members of all three squads. Donie played in 2 finals, and Brian in 1.
The leading Railway cup medal winner from Tipperary is Jimmy Doyle with 8 medals. He shares second place in the Munster pecking order with Mick Mackey, both behind the massive total of 18 which Christy Ring accumulated.
PLAYED IN MANY FINALS
Michael Keating and Mick Roche were the first men to play in All-Ireland hurling finals in 4 different grades. They played in Senior (1964), Intermediate (1963), minor (1961 – Roche, ’60, ’61, ’62 - Keating) and Under 21 level (1964)
John Doyle and Jimmy Doyle share the distinction of having started more All-Ireland hurling finals than any other players in inter-county hurling. John started 12 finals, 10 senior and 2 minor. Jimmy started 8 senior and 4 minor. Jimmy also came on as a substitute in the 1971 senior final which gives him the unique feat of having participated on the field of play in 13 All-Ireland finals in inter-county hurling.
Tipperary, in keeping with the sobriquet the “Premier County” has a remarkable record in achieving “firsts” in GAA history. A small sample is :
Maurice Davin, the Association’s first president was a Tipperary man
The first All-Ireland senior hurling titles was won by Tipperary (1887).
The first Under 21 All-Ireland title was won by Tipperary in 1964.
The first club to win the All-Ireland club title was Roscrea in 1971.
Tipperary was the first county to win three All-Ireland titles in one year, when the won the “triple crown” in 1930, as detailed below.
The first GAA congress was held in Thurles.
The first autobiography of a GAA star was that of Tipperary's Tommy Doyle - called "A Lifetime in Hurling - which was published in 1955.
TIPP’S DOUBLE ACHIEVEMENTS
Tipperary has won the All-Ireland title/National League double on a record 6 occasions.
This has been achieved in 1949, ’50, ’61, ’64, ’65, 2001.
In 1949, ’61, ’64, and ’65, the Oireachtas Tourmament was added to the double.
TIPP’S "TRIPLE CROWNS"
In 1930 Tipperary became the first county to win 3 All-Ireland hurling titles in one year. Tipp won the Senior, Minor and Junior, which represented all the available championship titles at the time. This feat was repeated by Tipp in 1989, when the grades won were Senior, Under 21, and Junior. Tipp remain the only county to have twice won the Senior title, and added titles in two more grades in the same year.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
The Leahys of Boherlahan have a most remarkable record. 4 brothers, Johnny (1916, ’25), Paddy (1916, ’25), Tommy (1930), and Mick (1928) won All-Ireland senior hurling medals on the filed of play.
The Ryan brothers of Roscrea all won All-Ireland senior medals. Mick was centre-half-forward in all three years of the 1949-51 three-in-a-row team. Jack was right-full-forward in 1949, and Dinny was a sub. on that team.
The Kennys brothers of Borris-Ileigh won All-Ireland senior medals. All won them with the 1949-51 team, with Sean and Paddy playing - Sean being the 1950 captain - and Phil (Phibbie) being a substitute on the 1950 team.
Gerry Doyle of Thurles Sarsfields won an All-Ireland medal in 1937 as substitute goalkeeper. His son Jimmy won 6 All-Ireland medals, and another sone Paddy was a sub. on the 1965 All-Ireland winning team. Gerry's brother Tommy won 5 All-Ieland medals with Tipp (1937, ’45, ‘49-’51).
Brothers Ned and Tim Ryan of Borris-Ileigh won All-Ireland medals with Tipp. Tim’s son Bobby won medals in 1989, and ’91. Bobby's uncle Pat Stakelum.captained Tipp to win the 1949 championship and was centre-half-back on the 1949-51 three-in-a-row team. Bobby's first cousin Richard Stakelum captained Tipperary to win the 1987 Munster senior championship, and was a substitute on the '89 All-Ireland winning team. Richard's brother Conor played as a sub in the 1991 All-Ireland final victory.
The parich of Boherlahan-Dualla has a remarkable record in the family stakes. The following are the father and son combinations who have won All-Ireland senior medals :
Jack Maher 1989 - Sonny Maher 1949-51.
Jim Flanagan 1895, 96 - Martin Flanagan 1925.
Ned Maher 1895, '96, '98, 1900 - Jimmy Maher 1945.
Johnny Walsh 1895, '96, '98, '99' 1900 - John Walsh 1951.
Apart from the aforementioned Doyles of Thurles, other father and son pairings who have won All-Ireland senior medals are :
Dinny Maher 1887 - John Maher 1930, '37, '45.
Mickey Byrne 1945, '49, '50, '51, '58 - Paul Byrne 1971.
In any pantheon of great clubs, Thurles Sarsfields must occupy an exalted place.
The club holds the record of 27 county senior titles in Tipperary. This includes a record 5 in a row twice between 1955-59, and 1961-65. A four in a row 1906-09, and a three in a row between 1944-46.
Thurles Sarsfields has provided captains for 10 of Tipperary's 25 All-Ireland senior winning teams, which is an achievement that no other club in the country can match.
Between 1954 and 1959, Sarsfields won 4 county minor titles (1954-57), three county junior titles (1955, '56, '58), and 5 senior titles (1955-59). At this time there was no county intermediate championship so the junior title was second only to the senior.
Only two Tipperary teams have ever won an All-Ireland senior title without a Thurles Sarsfields player on the pitch. Those years were 1989, and 1991. 1930 was the last time that Tipperary won an All-Ireland senior hurling title without either a Roscrea or a Borris-Ileigh player on the panel.
Apart from Thurles only Boherlahan (1915-18), and Toomevara (1998-2001) have won 4 county senior titles in a row. Apart from Thurles, 1944-46 achievement, three-in-a-row has been won by Toomevara (1912-14), Moycarkey (1932-34), Roscrea (1968-70), Kilruane MacDonagh (1977-79), and Toomevara (1992-94).
Between 1958 and '67 Roscrea won 8 of the available 10 county minor titles, including 6 in a row between 1958 and 1963. They won three county under 21 titles in 1963, '64, and '68. They proceeded to win the senior title 5 times in 6 years between 1968 and '73, and won the Munster titles of 1969, and '70 plus the inaugural All-Ireland title in 1971.
Between 1971 and 1979 Kilruane MacDonagh won a county minor hurling title (1971), 4 county Under 21 titles (1973-76), 3 county senior titles (1977-79), plus the North Tipp Intermediate and county junior title (in which Junior and Intermediate clubs took part) of 1978.
In 1991 Cashel King Cormacs won the county senior hurling title, the county junior hurling title, and the county Under 21 A hurling title. The Munster title was added to this as well later in the year.
Between 1977 and 1982 Nenagh Eire Og won 2 county minor titles (1977,'78) and 4 Under 21 titles (1979, '82).
Thurles Sarsfields are the only club to have won the County senior and minor titles in the same year. They achieved this feat five times (1935, '36, '55, '56, '57).
Roscrea won the county minor and under 21 titles in 1984, the only club to have won these titles in the same year. Roscrea (1968) and Cashel (1991) are the only clubs to have won Senior and Under 21 titles in the same year.