FEW GAA players win All-Ireland medals and even fewer go on to repeat the feat as a team manager. A new exhibition at the GAA Museum celebrates this unique club of players. Imreoir to Bainisteoir features memorabilia, film footage and imagery from the 30 players who have achieved All-Ireland success both on the field and from the sidelines.
There are 13 hurlers, 11 footballers and six camogie players who have claimed All-Ireland medals as a player and manager. The group includes legends such as Mick O’Dwyer, Kevin Heffernan, Brian Cody and Ann Downey. Imreoir to Bainisteoir recognises the amazing achievements of these players and gives fans the opportunity to remember some of the most exciting players and teams in the history of Gaelic Games.
Players showcased in the exhibition have achieved their double success in different ways. Mick O’Dwyer led Kerry to eight All-Ireland titles in 13 seasons and won four All-Irelands with the Kingdom as a player. His medal collection is displayed alongside that of fellow Kerryman Páidí Ó’Sé, who was an All-Ireland winning manager twice but lifted Sam Maguire eight times as a player.
Interestingly, Eamonn Cregan won his All-Ireland hurling medal with his native Limerick in 1973 but went on to achieve managerial success with Offaly in 1994 when the team defeated Limerick. Tony Hanahoe, on the other hand, won his accolade as a player/manager with Dublin in 1977.
Some players had also achieved All-Ireland success with their clubs including Davy Fitzgerald, John Allen, Donal O’Grady, Jimmy Barry Murphy, Pat Gilroy and Billy Morgan. Morgan of Cork has won football titles at club and county level as both player and manager. His jersey and cap worn in the 1973 All-Ireland final, as well as the match ball are on display.
Imreoir to Bainisteoir is housed on the ground floor of the GAA Museum in Croke Park and will run until May 2018.
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