The GAA have announced their hurling team of the 1990’s with each player set to be honoured before the All-Ireland SHC Final on Sunday at Croke Park.
The selection panel who chose the impressive looking 15 players consisted of the current GAA president John Horan, Sean Moran of the Irish Times, Martin Breheny the Irish Independent, Michael Lyster the presenter of the Sunday Game, RTE Sports reporter Brian Carthy, GAA writer Jimmy O’Sullivan, and Radio Na Gaeltactha’s Martan O Ciardha and Sean Ban Breathnach.
The 1990’s was a fabulous time for hurling with Liam McCarthy visiting 6 different counties. Cork, Offaly, Clare and Kilkenny all lifted Liam McCarthy twice each in 90’s, while Wexford and Tipperary also won All-Ireland titles. Looking at the team Clare, Wexford and Offaly are best represented, with each county having three players each. DJ Carey is the only Kilkenny hurler to make the side, while Brian Corcoran is the sole representative for the Rebel County. Speaking about the announcement of the team GAA president John Horan said “We are delighted to pay tribute to a special group of players who were part of such a defining period in the game,” He went on further to say “The 80s will forever be fondly remembered for the emergence of Galway and Offaly and the return of Tipperary. But the 90s went a step further with All-Ireland titles for six separate counties while Limerick and Galway also reached finals, and although unsuccessful, contributed enormously to a golden age. “The game stands on the shoulders of the giants who went before and the hurling heroes of the 90s ensured that hurling was in a great place and enjoyed massive popularity as we entered the new Millennium.”
GAA Hurling Team of the 1990’s
- Damien Fitzhenry (Wexford) – The Duffry Rovers club man was an essential part to the Wexford team for 17 seasons. Fitzhenry was a fine shot stopper and a superb penalty taker. In his 17 years between the posts Fitzhenry won 1 All Ireland medal in 1996, as well as 2 all stars and 3 Leinster titles.
2. Brian Corcoran (Cork) – An essential player in the Cork defence over the years. Corcoran was just 19 years old when he played in the 1992 final versus Kilkenny and was marked out as a special talent. He went on to win hurler of the year award as well as 5 Munster titles and 3 All-Ireland medals.
3. Brian Lohan (Clare) – Lohan was an old school full back but he was absolutely superb always did the right thing. He was one the last of the 1995 team to retire before stepping away from the game in 2006. He won 3 All-Ireland titles, 3 Munster titles and 4 all-stars.
4. Martin Hanamy (Offaly) – Hanamy was an excellent man marking defender. In an inter-county career spanning 13 years Hanamy won it all. He won 2 All-Ireland medals, 5 Leinster medals, 1 National League and 3 all star awards. He continued to play with his club St Rynagh’s till 2006.
5. Brian Whelahan (Offaly) – The Birr club man was an exceptional talent. He played with the Faithful from 1989 to 2006 and up until a year or two ago managed the Offaly senior hurlers. In a remarkable career he won 2 All-Ireland medals, 3 Leinster medals, 1 league title and 4 all-stars. He was also named hurler of the year in 1994 and 1998, incidentally he didn’t pick up an all-star in 1994. He won numerous honours with Birr 12 county championships, 7 Leinster titles and 4 All-Ireland titles. He was named on the team of millennium and also inducted into the GAA Hall of Fame.
6. Seanie McMahon (Clare) – The St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield club man was immense centre back. He gave his heart and soul to the Banner jersey. He scored 0-97 in 51 appearances from 1996-2006. He went on to win 2 All-Ireland medals, 3 Munster titles and 2 all-star awards. He also won 3 county titles, 2 Munster titles and 1 All-Ireland title with his club. He was hurler of the year in 1995.
7. Liam Dunne (Wexford) – One of the best wing backs to play the game to be fair. He was man of the match in the 1996 final and went on to win 3 all-stars, 1 All-Ireland medal and 2 Leinster titles. He won 6 county titles with Oulart as player before going on to coach them to three titles. He then coached Wexford for 5 years before Davy Fitzgerald took over the reigns.
8. Ciaran Carey (Limerick) – A superb hurler from the Patrickswell club. Carey failed to win that illusive All-Ireland medal but won 2 Munster titles, 2 National leagues and 3 all star awards. He is famous for that superb point against Clare in the 1996 Munster Championship.
9. Mick Coleman (Galway) – Coleman from the Abbeyknockmoy club represented Galway from 1988 to 1999. He always played well on the big day. He won 2 All-Ireland medals in the 80’s with Galway, but he was a standout performer for them in the middle of the field. He went on to win 3 all-stars and 3 league titles also.
10. Martin Storey (Wexford) – Famous for his moustache and that famous lyric in Dancing at the Crossroads the Oulart-The Ballagh club man was a special talent. He captained Wexford to win the 1996 All-Ireland and retired in 2001 ending his 15 year inter-county career. He won 3 all-stars and 2 Leinster medals as well as 5 County titles with Oulart-The Ballagh.
11. Gary Kirby (Limerick) – Another player unlucky not to win an All-Ireland medal but still was an amazing talent. He played from 1987 to 1999 with the Shannonsiders scoring 8-165. He would go to win 2 Munster medals, 2 national league medals and 4 all-stars. He also won 10 club championship medals with Patrickswell. He join club mate Ciaran Carey on the 15 here.
12. Jamesie O’Connor (Clare) – The St Joseph’s Doora Barefield club man joins his club mate Seanie McMahon on the team. O’Connor won 2 All-Ireland medals, 3 Munster medals, 4 all-stars. He also won 3 county titles, 2 Munster titles and 1 club All-Ireland. He was named man of the match in 1997 final and picked up hurler of the year also the same year.
13. Mick Cleary (Tipperary) – The Nenagh club man was ever present in the Tipperary half forward line. In a career spanning from 1988 to 1997 he would go on to score 10-108. He picked up 4 all-stars, 2 all-Ireland medals and 2 National League medals.
14 DJ Carey (Kilkenny) – When you mentioned Kilkenny it’s hard not to mention DJ Carey. He was a formidable player. Nicknamed the Dodger he went on to have a hugely succesful career in the Black and Amber from 1989 to 2006. He scored 33-188 in that period. He would go on to win 5 All-Ireland titles, 10 Leinster titles, 4 National Leagues and 9 All-Stars. He continued to play with his club till 2013 before he retired from the game. One of the best to play the game in my opinion.
15 Johnny Dooley (Offaly) – Dooley was a terrific hurler. He played from 1991 to 2002 with the Faithful scoring 4-190. He would go on to win 2 All-Ireland medals, 2 Leinster medals, 1 National League and 3 all-star awards. He went on to coach the Westmeath senior hurlers in 2007.