GAA GPA All Stars Awards
The Gaelic Athletic Association-Gaelic Players' Association All Stars Awards (often known simply as the All Stars) are awarded annually to the best player in each of the 15 playing positions in Gaelic football and hurling. Additionally, one player in each code is selected as Player of the Year. The awards have since 2011 been presented jointly by the Gaelic Athletic Association and the representative body for inter-county players, the Gaelic Players Association.
These are considered to be "the most coveted sporting award scheme in the country".
History and procedure
Since the 1960s there had been a tradition of annually selecting the best player in each position, in football and hurling, to create a special team of the year. Between 1963 and 1967 these players received what was known as the Cú Chulainn award. In 1971 these awards were formalised into the annual GAA All Star Awards. In 2006 the Gaelic Players Association launched a parallel award scheme entitled the GPA Gaelic Team of the Year (often referred to as the GPA Awards). An annual award was also given by the GPA to the Footballer of the Year and the Hurler of the Year.
In 2011 it was announced that the GAA All Stars Awards, which had been sponsored in recent years by Vodafone, and the GPA Awards would merge under the sponsorship of car manufacturer Opel. The move announced by Christy Cooney saw the achievements of players recognised jointly for the first time in October 2011.
The All Stars team comprises the best player in each position, regardless of club or county affiliation. The composition of the All Star teams are decided on the basis of a shortlist compiled by a selection committee of sports journalists from the national media, while the overall winners are chosen by inter-county players themselves. The award is regarded by players as the highest accolade available to them, due to it being picked by their peers. The awards are presented at a gala banquet in November following the end of the Championship season. Both men's teams are honoured with a special holiday where they play an exhibition game. Since 1971 over 1,000 players have been honoured with All Stars Awards. Damien Martin of Offaly was the first ever recipient of the award, while in 2004 Paul Galvin of Kerry became the 1,000th winner of the award.
Carlow and Longford are the only county in Ireland not to receive an award in either sport.
For a complete listing of all winners see the following articles:
- All Stars Footballer of the Year
- All Stars Hurler of the Year
- List of All Stars Awards winners (football)
- List of All Stars Awards winners (hurling)
- All-Time All Star Award (football)
- All-Time All Star Award (hurling)
- Ladies' Gaelic football All Stars Awards (Winners)
- Camogie All Stars Awards (Winners)
- Rounders All Stars Awards (Winners: Men / Women)
Sixteen sets of brothers have won All Star Awards in hurling. They are:
- Colm, Conal and Cormac Bonnar of Tipperary
- Tom and Jim Cashman of Cork
- Andy and Martin Comerford of Kilkenny
- John and Joe Connolly of Galway
- Jimmy and Joe Cooney of Galway
- Ollie and Joe Canning of Galway
- Johnny, Billy and Joe Dooley of Offaly
- Colm and Tony Doran of Wexford
- Liam and Ger Fennelly of Kilkenny
- Pat, Ger and John Henderson of Kilkenny
- Eoin and Paul Kelly of Tipperary
- Brian and Frank Lohan of Clare
- Willie and Eddie O'Connor of Kilkenny
- Seán Óg and Setanta Ó hAilpín of Cork
- Aidan and Bobby Ryan of Tipperary
- Martin and John Quigley of Wexford
One set of twins have won All Star Awards in hurling:
Ten sets of brothers have won All Star Awards in Gaelic football. They are:
- Matt and Richie Connor of Offaly
- Tomás and Liam Connor of Offaly
- Paul and Dermot Earley, Snr of Roscommon
- Seán and Brendan Lowry of Offaly
- James and Martin McHugh of Donegal
- Anthony and John McGurk of Derry
- Tom, Mick and Pat Spillane of Kerry
- Tomás, Darragh and Marc Ó Sé of Kerry
- Kenneth and Conor Mortimer of Mayo
- Alan and Bernard Brogan Jnr of Dublin
One set of brothers has won All Star Awards in hurling and football (with two different counties):
- Declan Carr won his hurling award while playing with Tipperary and Tommy Carr won his football award while playing with Dublin.
Father and son
Nine father and son pairings have won All Star Awards.
Seven of these have been in football:
- Pat Reynolds and Paddy Reynolds of Meath.
- Dermot Earley and Dermot Earley, Jnr of Roscommon and Kildare.
- Liam O'Neill of Galway and Kevin O'Neill of Mayo.
- Frank McGuigan and Brian McGuigan of Tyrone.
- Bernard Brogan Sr and Alan Brogan & Bernard Brogan Jr of Dublin.
- Tim Kennelly and Tadhg Kennelly of Kerry.
- Martin McHugh and Mark McHugh of Donegal.
There have been two hurling father and son pairings:
Dual All Stars
Three other players share the distinction of winning All Star awards in both hurling and football, but they did not win the accolades in the same year. These players are:
Due to the pressures of the modern games it is unlikely that these players' feats will ever be repeated.
People who have received five or more awards since 1971:
- 11 awards - Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny) in hurling
- 9 awards - Pat Spillane (Kerry) in football; D. J. Carey and Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny) in hurling.
- 8 awards - Colm Cooper (Kerry) in football
- 7 awards - Mikey Sheehy in football; Noel Skehan (Kilkenny) in hurling
- 6 awards - Peter Canavan (Tyrone), Jack O'Shea and Ger Power (Kerry), in football; Joe McKenna (Limerick), Nicky English, Eoin Kelly (Tipperary) and J. J. Delaney in hurling
- 5 awards - John Egan, John O'Keeffe and Páidí Ó Sé (Kerry), John O'Leary (Dublin), Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) and Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone) all in football; Pat Hartigan (Limerick), Tony O'Sullivan (Cork), Joe Cooney (Galway), Joe Hennessy, Eddie Keher (Kilkenny) and John Mullane (Waterford) all in hurling.
Tommy Walsh of Kilkenny has won nine hurling All Star Awards in five different positions; a record unlikely to be equalled or surpassed. These were for playing at left corner back (1), at right half back (5), at left half back (1), at midfield (1) and at left half forward (1).
- Foley, Cliona (23 November 2006). "Players' chosen trio are overlooked in Allstars team as Kerry lead the way". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 23 November 2006.
- Ladies' All Stars 2007
- Camogie All-Stars 2007
- "All Star and GPA awards merger announced". RTÉ Sport. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- "Award schemes to be merged". The Belfast Telegraph. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011.