Limerick university honours its top sporting figures

Jimmy Deenihan, Pat Spillane and Eddie O’Sullivan among the first members of new hall of fame


Asports hall of fame honouring some of the University of Limerick’s most high profile graduates and members of staff was unveiled at the weekend.

Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan, Gaelic Football star Pat Spillane, former Ireland rugby manager Eddie O'Sullivan, and rugby International Tony Ward are among the first 16 members of the new hall of fame located at the University Arena.

The official opening of the UL Sports Hall of Fame, by president Don Barry, is the culmination of the university's fortieth birthday celebrations.


The 16 retired athletes, were selected from the four decades of sporting excellence in UL’s history and new members will be added each year.

All those selected either studied or worked at UL, NIHE or Thomond College, and were nominated by members of the campus community.

All of those bestowed with hall of fame status attended the weekend unveiling ceremony except for Clare hurling star Sean McMahon who was in Croke Park to see the Banner County lift the Liam McCarthy Cup.

Congratulating all of the inaugural inductees, Prof Barry said: “These sixteen individuals will be remembered for their achievements, their commitment to excellence and the inspiration they provide to our next generations of athletes.

“They have reached the pinnacle of their sporting careers and have earned our highest esteem and gratitude for their contribution to UL Sport,” Prof Barry said.

Among those also honoured in new UL Sports Hall of fame are paralympic athlete Sean O’Grady who worked on the switch board at the University for ten years.

The inaugural University of Limerick Sports of Fame inductees are: Dr Sarahjane Belton – Rugby Mr Brian Mullins — Gaelic Football Ms Eimear Cregan – Hockey Mr Seán O'Grady — Paralympic Athletics Mr Jimmy Deenihan — Gaelic Football Mr Eddie O'Sullivan — Rugby Mr Gerard Hartmann – Triathlon Ms Ciara Peelo — Sailing Dr Liam Hennessy – Athletics Mr Ray Silke — Gaelic Football Dr Eddie Keher – Hurling Mr Pat Spillane — Gaelic Football Mr Seán McMahon – Hurling Ms Carmel Vekins — Kayak & Canoe Polo Ms Sinéad Millea – Camogie Mr Tony Ward — Rugby