|Irish name||Éamonn Ó Braonáin|
2 October 1978 |
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 18:58, 9 February 2012.|
Edward "Eddie" Brennan (born 2 October 1978) is an Irish former hurler who played for the Kilkenny senior team. Brennan made his first appearance for the team during the 2000 championship and was a regular player until his retirement following the 2011 championship. He established himself as one of the most prolific goal-scoring forwards of the decade.
Brennan is regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation. During his time with Kilkenny, he joined an exclusive club of players who have won eight All-Ireland medals on the field of play. He also won ten Leinster medals and four National League medals. He was a runner-up in two All-Ireland finals and two National League finals, however, he only lost one provincial game during his entire career.
Brennan has a number of personal achievements. He won four All Star Awards, three Gaelic Players' Awards and was a nominee for Hurler of the Year in 2008. He was named as one of the 125 greatest stars of the GAA as part of the GAA 125 celebrations in 2009, the same year he was picked at right corner-forward on the Leinster team of the past twenty-five years.
Brennan plays his club hurling with the Graigue-Ballycallan club in his native parish and has enjoyed much success. He first came to prominence in the mid-1990s as a dual player at minor and under-21 levels, winning county championship titles in both hurling and Gaelic football.
In spite of his underage successes, Brennan failed to make an impact with the club's senior hurling team until 2000. That year he became a regular starter as the club reached a third championship decider in succession. He won his first county club championship winners' medal following a 0-16 to 0-9 defeat of O'Loughlin Gaels. This victory earned the club the right to represent Kilkenny in the Leinster series of games. After reaching the provincial decider, Brennan's side defeated University College Dublin to take the Leinster title. Graigue-Ballycallan subsequently qualified for the All-Ireland final with Athenry. A high-scoring sixty minutes of hurling followed; however, the teams were level and extra time was needed. Brennan's side were defeated by 3-24 to 2-19, a scoreline that did not reflect the fact that Ballycallan had led the game for almost the full sixty minutes of normal time, only conceding a late goal to force extra-time.
Brennan never played minor hurling for Kilkenny, however, by 1999 he was a key member of the county's under-21 team. He won a Leinster title in that grade that year before later claiming an All-Ireland winners' medal following a two-point win over Galway.
Brennan made his senior debut for Kilkenny in 2000 and he quickly captured his first Leinster title as Kilkenny steamrolled Offaly in the provincial final. The two sides later met in the All-Ireland final, however, two goals from Henry Shefflin and an injury-time goal from substitute Brennan helped ‘the Cats’ to secure a huge victory in one of the most one-sided finals in decades. As well as securing the victory he also secured a first All-Ireland medal.
In 2001 Brennan added a second successive Leinster medal to his collection as Kilkenny completely overpowered Wexford in the final. After such a huge win ‘the Cats’ were hot favourites to retain the title, however, Kilkenny were outsmarted by Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final.
‘The Cats’ bounced back in 2002 with Brennan claiming a first National Hurling League medal. He subsequently claimed yet another Leinster title before later lining out in a second All-Ireland final. Clare, who were defeated in the first-round of the Munster championship but had made it to the final via the newly introduced qualifier system, put up a good fight. A combined tally of 2-13 for both Henry Shefflin and D.J. Carey gave Kilkenny a seven-point victory and secured a second All-Ireland title for Brennan.
In 2003 Brennan captured a second National League title before later winning a fourth consecutive Leinster medal. Kilkenny later faced Cork in an exciting and close All-Ireland final. The Leinstermen never led by more than four-points and only secured victory with a late Martin Comerford goal. Brennan won his third All-Ireland medal that day and he was later honoured with an All-Star award.
In 2004 Kilkenny were aiming for an unprecedented third All-Ireland victory in-a-row, however, the team was now under severe pressure from all quarters. For the first time in seven years Kilkenny failed in their bid to become Leinster champions as a last-gasp Wexford goal ended an almost unprecedented run of success. Kilkenny took the scenic route via the qualifiers system, however, after a scare against Clare they still reached the All-Ireland final. Once again Cork provided the opposition on a gloomy and overcast day. The sides were level for much of the game, however, in the final twenty minutes Cork scored nine points without reply and secured the victory. Kilkenny ended the year with no silverware.
Kilkenny were back in form in 2005 with Brennan adding a third National League medal to his ever-growing collection. He later won a fifth Leinster title as ‘the Cats’ had a narrow win over reigning provincial champions Wexford. While a third successive All-Ireland showdown with Cork seemed extremely likely, Galway defeated Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final in one of the game’s of the decade.
In 2006 Brennan won his sixth Leinster title before lining out in another All-Ireland final appearance. The game that everyone had predicted would happen in 2005 was now taking place as Cork squared up to Kilkenny for the third time in four years. The Leesiders were aiming for a third All-Ireland victory in-a-row, however, revenge was foremost in the minds of Kilkenny as it was Cork who denied their three-in-a-row bid in 2004. On the day Kilkenny were far too strong for Cork and Brennan played a huge role in capturing Kilkenny's 29th title and his own fourth All-Ireland medal. He was subsequently honoured with a second All-Star award.
In 2007 Brennan captured a seventh Leinster medal following another facile victory in the provincial final. Once again Kilkenny later qualified for the All-Ireland final where, surprisingly, Limerick provided the opposition. Kilkenny got off to a flying start with Brennan and Shefflin scoring two goals within the first ten minutes. Unfortunately, Shefflin sustained an injury during the game and had to retire at half-time. Kilkenny hung onto this lead and went on to win the game, giving Brennan a fifth All-Ireland medal. Brennan's 1-5, following as it did on his two goal haul against Galway in the quarter-final, made him the game's top scorer and earned him the RTÉ Man of the match.
2008 saw Kilkenny launch an all-out attack in an attempt to capture a third All-Ireland title in-a-row. The team had an easy passage through the Leinster Championship, however, the opening half of the provincial final against Wexford gave ‘the Cats’ another minor scare. In the end Brennan collected his eighth Leinster medal after a 5-21 to 0-17 victory. This victory allowed Kilkenny to advance directly to the All-Ireland semi-final where arch-rivals Cork were the opponents. The game was an interesting encounter; however, Kilkenny claimed a 1-23 to 0-17 victory. The subsequent All-Ireland final saw Kilkenny take on Waterford. It was their first meeting in the championship decider since 1963. A classic game of hurling was expected by many, however, Kilkenny started stronger. Two goals by Brennan after twenty minutes effectively killed the game, however, ‘the Cats’ ploughed on to record an enormous 3-30 to 1-13. It was Brennan's sixth All-Ireland medal.
With the three-in-a-row taken care of, Kilkenny set out to break Cork's seemingly unbeatable record of four championship titles in succession. Tipperary were seen as the main challengers to Kilkenny's dominance and both sides lined out against each other in the final of the National League. Tipperary stormed into a decisive lead as they took the game by the scruff of the; however, 'the Cats' clawed their way back into the game. At the end of normal time both sides were level. A period of extra-time followed, however, in spite of battling to the very end Tipp were beaten and Kilkenny won by 2-26 to 4-17. It was Brennan's fourth National League winners' medal. The subsequent championship campaign saw 'the Cats' line out against Dublin in the Leinster final. While many expected 'the Dubs' to be lambs to the slaughter in that game, Kilkenny found it difficult to cope. It took two goals from Martin Comerford to secure a 2-18 to 0-18 victory and a tenth Leinster winners' medal for Brennan. After a six-week lay-off and a thrilling semi-final with Waterford, Kilkenny qualified for a fourth successive final and the chance to make history. In a repeat of the league final, Tipperary were the opponents. For much of the match it looked as if Tipp would pull off a shock and deny 'the Cats' a record-equaling four-in-a-row. Two quick goals in the space of a minute, one from a penalty by Henry Shefflin, sealed a 2-22 to 0-23 victory. It was the fourth time in-a-row that the famed Liam McCarthy Cup was presented to a Kilkenny team. It was also Brennan's seventh All-Ireland winners' medal.
He called time on his career in January 2012 before the start of the National Hurling League.
Following the completion of his Leaving Certificate Brennan attended the Garda Síochána College in Templemore where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in police studies. He was fined 2 weeks wages by his employer following an incident in 2000 when he threatened a prisoner with the prospect of being raped by another prisoner. He currently works in Portlaoise.
Brennan was an analyst on The Sunday Game for their coverage of the 2012 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, 2013 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and 2014 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
- Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship (1): 2000
- Kilkenny Senior Club Hurling Championship (1): 2000
- All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship (8): 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
- Leinster Senior Hurling Championship (10): 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
- National Hurling League (4): 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009
- Walsh Cup (4): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
- All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship (1): 1999
- Leinster Under-21 Hurling Championship (1): 1999
- "Profile of Eddie Brennan". Kilkenny GAA website. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- "Exasperating Eddie reformed". Irish Independent. 3 September 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- "From Kittens to Cats". Irish Examiner. 12 September 2003. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- "RTÉ Sport GAA Championship: Kilkenny 2-26 Tipperary 4-17 (AET)". RTÉ Sport. 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- "Cats hold off Dublin's final charge". Irish Examiner. 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- "RTÉ Sport: GAA - As it Happened: Kilkenny 2-22 Tipperary 0-23". RTÉ Sport. 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- "RTÉ Sport GAA: Brennan retires from intercounty hurling". RTÉ Sport. 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- Fahy, Declan. "Wait until you see lads who are inside for 10 or 12 years..they'll take a shine to you. Your future is looking bleak. Just take it like a man, up the Gary Glitter".
- "cúl4kidz profile of Eddie Brennan". cúl4kidz website. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "Top Cats brave it in premier county for wedding". Irish Independent. 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
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Man of the Match