GAA President launches Cormac McAnallen programme

RELEASE Wednesday 14 December 2005

GAA President launches Cormac McAnallen programme and latest
legends series

President mingled with football and hurling stars past and
present as he launched a new television programme on the late
Cormac McAnallen, Tyrone footballer and the new season of
the popular Laochra Gael series at the
GAA Museum in Croke Park, Dublin. The new series, the fifth
to date, celebrates some of the greatest names in Gaelic games
of the past fifty years. Each of the 10 programmes blends
archive footage, personal
reminiscence and an assessment from team-mates, rivals, media
commentators and family members.

other Gaelic footballers profiled in the new series are
Mattie McDonagh (Galway), Joe Kernan (Armagh), Dinny Allen
(Cork dual player) and Willie Joe Padden (Mayo). Five star
hurlers are also honoured in programmes –
Donie NealonH (Tipperary), Joe Hennessy (Kilkenny) Tomás
Mulcahy (Cork), Liam Dunne (Wexford) and Davy Fitzgerald

full list of programme titles, profiles and transmission
dates is enclosed).

at the launching of Cormac programme and the new Laochra
Gael series, the GAA President paid tribute to the McAnallen
family and to their great dignity in the face of a devastating
bereavement. He also was fulsome
in his praise of TG4’s commitment to and ongoing coverage
of all aspects of Gaelic games. “The channel has proven
itself a true supporter of our national games,” he
said, “and has brought a new dimension by offering
round national television coverage and by the inclusion
of competitions that would not otherwise be covered.”

Ceannasaí, Pól Ó Gallchóir said
the channel took great pride in its match coverage but that
series like Laochra Gael also played an important part in
TG4 Gaelic games coverage in refreshing the memory of those
who had
seen these great stars in action and in introducing a new
generation to the hurling and football masters of a bygone
age. “We are delighted with the new series and are
giving the Cormac McAnallen programme pride of place in
our Christmas Day 2005 schedule – the most prestigious day
of the entire
television calendar”.

new Laochra Gael season will begin its regular run on TG4
Wednesdays from January 11th (first showing on Wednesday
nights with a repeat showing after the movie on Fridays).
The series is produced by Nemeton, the
independent production company from Ring in the Waterford
Gaeltacht which has produced much of TG4’s acclaimed sports
Contact: Rónán Ó Coisdealbha, Spórt
TG4 087-2472841

available from Sportsfile Photography Tel: 01-4547400

Laochra Gael – 2006 (Full list of programmes)

Cormac McAnallen – Tyrone Footballer
On the 2nd of March 2005 the news of Cormac McAnallen’s
death spread throughout the country and brought the GAA
community to a standstill. It was hard to believe the news
considering the Eglish man had reached the
pinnacle of his chosen sport, winning a Senior All Ireland
Football title with Tyrone only six months earlier and had
taken over the captaincy of the team. Very rarely has the
death of a young person touched a nation so much.

underage success of the Eglish man is phenomenal having
captained the minor Tyrone side to the All Ireland in 1998
and following that up with back to back U21 titles again
as captain in 2000 and 2001. With Queens he
won a Sigerson in 2000 and in 2002 he won the Dublin Football
Championship with UCD. He played for Ireland against the
Australians and National League medals came in 2002 and
’03 before he landed the ultimate prize of Sam Maguire.

filled a much troubled position for Tyrone in that team
as the full back position had been exposed earlier that
year, but Cormac wore the number three jersey in the latter
stages of the championship and was
awarded an Allstar in that position later that year. His
versatility, ability, leadership qualities and total dedication
was what set him apart from other players.

to the programme include: Bridget and Brendán Mc
Anallen, Dónal Mc Anallen, Mickey Harte, Mark Harte,
Peter Canavan, Fr. Gerard Mc Aleer, Seán Ó
Ceallaigh, Kieran Mc Geeney, Enda Mc Nulty, Conal Ó
Maighréad Uí Mháirtín and Dr.
Gareth Loughrey. (This programme will be repeated on TG4
on 28th December and again on 15 February 2006)

Joe Hennessey – Kilkenny Hurler
Joe Hennessey will always be remembered as one of Kilkenny
hurling’s greatest servants. Even though he wasn’t ever
the biggest man on the team his skill and versatility allowed
him to fill many roles and positions for
both club and county on the field of play and also explains
why he couldperform at the highest level for so long.

All Ireland medals came to him immediately in the Cats jersey
with a minor title in 1973, two U21 titles in 1975 and 1977.
In the senior jersey he won three All Irelands, 1979, ’82
and ’83, four National League
medals in 1976, ’82, ’83 and ’86. With his club James Stephens
he won two All Ireland Club medals in 1976 and 1982. Joe
was awarded 5 Allstars in three different positions, right
half back in 1978, midfield in 1979, right
half back in 1983 and 1984 and as right full back in 1987.
People interviewed in the programme include: Joe Hennessey,
Tommy O’Brien, Brian Waldron, Brian Cody, Matt Ruth, Joe
Connolly, Pat Fleury.

18/1/2006 Dinny Allen – Cork Footballer and Hurler
Dinny Allen of Cork has a great CV which proves his natural
skill and versatility as a genuine sportsman. An All Ireland
senior football medal from 1989 when he was captain of the
team, a Munster senior hurling medal
from 1975 and an FAI Cup medal with Cork Hibernians in 1973.
In fact Cork are quite lucky in that he remained in Ireland
to play in the GAA as Brian Clough wanted him to join Nottingham
Forest. However it was his involvement
in soccer that was frowned upon by the GAA officialdom that
cost him an All Ireland football medal in 1973. It was unfortunate
for Dinny that his best playing days coincided with the
era of the great Kerry team, but he did not
go unnoticed winning an Allstar award in 1980 as centre
for all that Dinny Allen won with Cork his achievements
with Nemo Rangers, one of the most successful clubs ever,
will go down in history
having won three All Ireland football medals. He now spends
a huge amount of time in the club as a volunteer, selector
and trainer of teams.
Contributors to this programme include: Dinny Allen, Billy
Morgan, Páidí Ó Sé, John Allen,
Michéal Ó Sé, John Creedon, Jimmy Barry

25/1/2006 Donie Nealon – Tipperary Hurler
Donie Nealon of Burgess/Youghalarra played on the great
Tipperary side of the 1960’s and won every major honour
in the game. He played in eight All Ireland finals winning
five of them in 1958, ’61, ’62, ’64 and ’65. He was
chosen as Hurler of the Year in the 1962 and was an ever
present figure on the Munster Railway Cup side during those
years. His medal haul also includes a Fitzgibbon and a Dublin
Senior Hurling Championship with UCD,
six National League medals and four Railway Cup medals.
Since his retirement from play Donie contribution to the
GAA has been huge as an accomplished referee, selector to
the Tipperary All Ireland winning teams
of 1971, ’89 and ’91 and Secretary of the Munster Council
from 1977 until 2004.
People interviewed in the programme include: Donie Nealon,
Mackey McKenna, Babs Keating, Bobby Ryan, Fr. Séamus

1/2/2006 Mattie McDonagh – Galway Footballer
The late Mattie Mc Donagh is the only Connacht man to of
won 4 All Ireland football medals. When he was only 19 years
of age in 1956 the young Ballygar man played in midfield
against Cork with the great ‘Terrible
Twins’ (Purcell and Stockwell) to win his first All Ireland.
His next role was that of centre forward after the retirement
of Seán Purcell, a position he held during the famous
‘Three in a Row’ of All Ireland titles that
Galway won from 1964 to 1966. He had progressed from being
the baby on the team of ’59 to being the father of the ‘Three
in a row’ team. in 1966 he was honoured as Footballer of
the Year, he won a Railway Cup medal in 1958
and was renowned for his strength and tireless work rate,
not so much the scorer but a great provider who made scoring
opportunities for those around him.

Galway football was in a bit of a crisis at the beginning
of the eighties he was appointed manager and led the team
to an important National League title in 1981and later to
an All Ireland final in 1983 against
Dublin. Another unique fact about Mattie is that he played
minor football for Galway but also played minor hurling
for Roscommon in the same year. Sadly Mattie passed away
in April 2005. Contributors to this programme
include Joe Young, Johnny Hughes, Pateen Donnellan, Bosco
McDermott, Tom Long, Martin Newell, Cóilín
McDonagh, Séamus McHugh

8/2/2006 Tomás Mulcahy – Cork Hurler
The sons of the famous Glen Rovers Club include Jack Lynch,
Christy Ring and Jim Young, but the star of the 1980’s and
early 90’s was Tomás Mulcahy. He made his début
for the Cork senior hurling team in 1983 and had a
distinguished career for both club and county up until he
retired from the Rebels in 1995. He won all major honours
in the game from captaining his club to a County title in
1989 (their first in thirteen years), three All
Ireland victories with Cork in 1984, ’86 and when he captained
the side during the year of the infamous Rebels double in
1990. Allstar awards were collected in 1984 and 1986, a
National League medal in 1993 and two Railway
Cup medals in l984 and l985. What a lot of people do not
know about Tomás is that he was a very good
footballer and appeared in the Munster Football final of
1985 only to be marked by Páidí Ó Sé.
He is well known today for his analysis on ‘The Su nday
Game’ where his love for the game is quite evident but he
is also
still heavily involved with his club and the underage structure
in the county as a selector of the U21 hurling team of 2005.
Contributors to this programme include Tomás Mulcahy,
Dónal O’Grady, Seánie O’Gorman, Canon
Michael O’Brien, Liam Ó Tuama, Páidí
Ó Sé, Pat Fleury, Cyril Farrell.


Davy Fitzgerald – Clare Hurling Goalkeeper
Davy Fitzgerald of County Clare maybe one of the smallest
men on the field of play but few players can match his size
when it comes to filling a jersey. He was and still is an
inspirational force on the Clare team which
came to prominence in the mid 1990s. When standing between
the posts very few can match his natural ability to stop
point blank and long range shots, his infectious enthusiasm,
his marshalling of defenders or his skill at
scoring vital penalties and points from placed balls. His
medals display include two All Irelands with Clare in 1995
and 1997, an All Ireland Club medal with his club, Sixmilebridge,
two Railway Cup medals with Munster
from 1996 and 1997 and three Allstar Awards from 1995, 2002
and 2005. And he’s not finished yet!
Participants include Ger Loughnane, Bishop Willie Walsh,
Seán McMahon and Anthony Daly.


Joe Kernan – Armagh Footballer
Joe Kernan comes from Crossmaglen in Co. Armagh and has
been involved in the football of his native club and county
for four decades. Today he is more widely known as a great
manager but let us not forget the player that
Kernan once was. A big, strong, powerful leader, who played
in many positions but who excelled as a midfielder. He played
in the Armagh team of the late 70’s that lost to the great
Dublin side in the All Ireland final
of 1977. He won two further Ulster championships in 1980
and ’82 but didn’t manage to reach the pinnacle as he would
do as a manager. In 1977 and 1982 he won Allstar awards.
As a manager his achievements include three All
Ireland club titles with Crossmaglen in 1997, ’99 and 2000,
an All Ireland with Armagh which was their first ever in
2002 and their only National League title in 2005. An impressive
CV to say the least. Contributors to
this programme include Joe and Patricia Kernan and family,
Kieran McGeeney, Seán McCague, Finín Mac a’Bháird,
Frank Short, Éamonn Mackle, John McEntee, Francie
Bellew, Brian Mullins, Dermot McGovern, John Rath, Jimmy
Smyth, Enda McNulty, Tomás Ó Sé.

8/3/2006 Liam Dunne – Wexford Hurler
When it comes to controversy very few hurlers could compete
with Liam Dunne of Oulart-The Ballagh, but the same could
also be said about his determination, his influence on games,
his leadership qualities and awards
that he has won. Having played in the purple and gold for
16 years the highlight of his career is the All Ireland
won in 1996, their first and only title since 1968 and the
three Allstar Awards that he picked up along the way. Unfortunately
these highs were also matched by extreme lows which could
of ended his hurling career. He became the first inter-county
player to be sent off in the Championship three years in
a row in 2002 and due to the bad press and reputation that
followed he turned to alcohol. His troubled journey back
to where he wanted to be is a story of personal struggle
not only for himself but also for his immediate family and
friends and his hugely successful book ‘I Crossed the Line’
is an example of the mans straight talking about the same
problems and the GAA world as he sees it. Now we can hear
and see him talk about it. Participants include Liam Dunne
and family, Tony Dempsey TD, Liam Griffin, Martin Storey,
Ger Loughnane and Mick Jacob.


Willie Joe Padden – Mayo Footballer
Willie Joe Padden played in the Mayo football senior jersey
from 1977 until 1992 and even though he never won the priceless
All Ireland medal his legendary status as one of Gaelic
football’s greatest fielders lives on. He won numerous Connaught
medals which include 5 senior, one U21 and one as captain
of the minor team in 1977. Mayo were still waiting for a
great day in Croke Park since the fifties and in 1989 when
they played Cork in the
final Willie Joe played exceptionally well, however it was
not to be theirday and Mayo would have to wait even further.
Willie Joe’s fielding ability in the middle of the field
was spectacular. He seemed to rise majestically above all
of those gathered around him and hang in the air as the
football came to him. The sight of this athleticism
and skill could raise a team and a roar from the sideline
and stands. Those performances and Willie Joe’s contribution
to the game was acknowledged when he received two Allstar
Awards in 1985 and 1989. Being a native of Belmullet in
the Mayo Gaeltacht Willie Joe has appeared at many of the
Inter Gaeltacht football competitions (Comórtas Peile
na Gaeltachta) and was chosen on the Millennium Gaeltacht
Team. He won an Intermediate Mayo championship with his
club as well.
Contributors to this programme include Willie Joe Padden,
Billy Joe and David Padden, Seán Ó Gallchóir,
Ian Mac Aindriú, T J Kilgallon, Martin Carney, John
O’ Mahony, Fr Seán Killeen.


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