Mick O’Dwyer among four inductees to Hall of Fame

Kerry legend joined by Micheál Kerins, Noel Skehan and Pat McGrath

Hall of Fame inductees (from left) Kilkenny’s Noel Skehan, Sligo’s Micheál Kearins, Kerry’s Mick O’Dwyer and Waterford’s Pat McGrath at the Croke park Museum. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Kerry legend Mick O’Dwyer was among four new inductees into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony as the GAA Museum at Croke Park on Wednesday.

O'Dwyer was joined by Sligo footballer Micheál Kerins, along with hurlers Noel Skehan of Kilkenny and Pat McGrath of Waterford in becoming the second group of former players to receive the awards since the inaugural event last year.

GAA president Liam Ó Néill congratulated the players on being named, saying: “It is a great honour to welcome these four outstanding GAA ambassadors into our Museum Hall of Fame and it is difficult to think of more fitting men for the award.

“These four individuals illuminated their respective codes, setting consistently sky high standards that thrilled crowds and highlighted the great attributes of our games.”


O’Dwyer 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.

He managed the 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.

Kearins made his senior inter-county debut for Sligo in 1961. In all, he played senior inter-county football with Sligo for 18 consecutive years (1961 to 1978), scoring 36 goals and 1,158 points in 215 games.

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 point. 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.

Waterford’s Pat McGrath starred for the county’s hurlers from 1970 through to 1986. He 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.

Kikenny's 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 Skehan made some cameo appearances as a substitute before being elevated. In 1972 he succeeded in displacing Walsh as the number one 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.

His record of nine All-Ireland medals stood until September 2012, when Henry Shefflin equalled the record as Kilkenny won a 34th senior championship. Skehan also enjoyed success at club level with Bennettsbridge winning six senior county titles.