Kieran Donaghy

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Kieran Donaghy
Personal information
Irish name Ciarán Mac Donnchaidh
Sport Gaelic Football
Position Full Forward
Born (1983-03-01) 1 March 1983 (age 31)
Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Nickname Star[1]
Years Club
2001- Austin Stacks
Years County Apps (scores)
2004-2013 Kerry 24 (6-12)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 4
All Irelands 3
All Stars 2

Kieran Donaghy (born 1 March 1983) is an Irish Gaelic footballer. He played inter-county for Kerry and club football for Austin Stacks in Tralee. Donaghy has won three All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals, two Munster Championships and a National League title with Kerry, and is the recipient of two All Stars Awards.

A full forward, he is known as an effective target man, using his height, catching ability and scoring technique to very good effect. He has also been hailed[by whom?] as the new Bomber Liston.[2] His response to this was "It's very flattering to be compared to him, but I'd need to play in a good few All-Ireland finals to be in the same league as him".[3]

Donaghy has also played basketball for Abrakebabra Tigers and has represented Ireland in the past.[4]

Football career[edit]


Donaghy's emergence in 2006 was regarded as a 'rags to riches story'. He had at one time struggled to nail down a place with the Austin Stacks' minor team. In 2004, before he made his breakthrough on the Kerry Senior side, Donaghy had taken part in the GAA reality TV show Underdogs on TG4. Ironically he played in a one-off game against Kerry while on the show.[1]

Donaghy switched in 2005 from playing basketball for Tralee Tigers to play football for Kerry.[1] He made his Kerry debut against Dublin[1] in 2005 and won a Munster Senior Football Championship medal with the county that year.[1]

He began the 2006 National League season as a midfield partner for Darragh Ó Sé, with moderate success. He was sent off in a game league with reigning All-Ireland Champions Tyrone. The campaign ended with Kerry being crowned League Champions but there were some doubts about Donaghy's temperament. Donaghy began the 2006 Championship in the same position, as Kerry reached the Munster Championship final against old rivals Cork. Donaghy was sent off for two bookable offenses and he was banned for the subsequent replay.[citation needed] Cork defeated Kerry in the replay. A round later in the Qualifiers against Longford, Donaghy was moved to the full forward position.[1] It proved a very successful switch as he set up three goals, a number of points and scored a point himself.[1] Donaghy continued his good form against Armagh in the All-Ireland quarter-final - scoring a crucial goal. Donaghy goaded Armagh goalkeeper Paul Hearty in his celebrations after the goal. He later apologised for doing so and said that it was a reaction to Hearty's constant taunting of him during the game.[5] Kerry beat Cork in the semi-final, with Donaghy again playing very well. Kerry met Mayo in the All-Ireland final and Donaghy played a pivotal role in Kerry's winning by a scoreline of 4-15 to 3-05. He scored a 1-02 and also set up another goal in the match.[1] Donaghy was awarded an All Star award for his performances that year and was also included in the GPA Team of the Year. He was also named All Stars Footballer of the Year, GPA Footballer of the Year and Texaco Footballer of the Year.

In 2007 Donaghy helped Kerry win the Munster Championship - beating Cork in the final by two points. He created Kerry's goal for Colm Cooper and got the score that put them ahead late in the game. Kerry scraped past Monaghan in the All-Ireland quarter-final, to set up a semi-final clash with Dublin. Donaghy was moved out to midfield after talisman Darragh Ó Sé went off injured, and had a storming game against the much vaunted Ciarán Whelan. Kerry played Cork in the All-Ireland final and won by 3-13 to 1-9. He scored two of the goals in the match.[6]

Donaghy made a "middle finger" gesture to Mayo fans during a match between the sides in the 2008 National League. He was punished with a one match suspension for the incident.[7] He apologised for the incident as follows; "During the latter stages of the game and in the heat of the moment, I used an inappropriate gesture towards the crowd. I apologise unreservedly to spectators and all sports fans alike for any offence that I may have caused by this action." He said that he made the gesture after Mayo fans threw coins at him and Kerry goalkeeper Diarmuid Murphy, and after almost being hit in the head by a piece of wood hurled from the crowd.[8] As a result of this incident, the Mayo board were later fined by the GAA and ordered to improve their event management.[9] Kerry reached the 2008 National League final, but were beaten by Derry. Cork beat Kerry in the 2008 Munster final. Kerry nevertheless reached the All-Ireland final and faced Tyrone. Tyrone won the game by four points.[10] Donaghy did however win a second All Star award that year.[11]

On 11 July 2009, Donaghy was injured when he landed awkwardly during Kerry's victory over Longford in the football qualifier's, and left the ground on crutches. Scan results later showed that he had suffered a broken bone in his foot and is likely to miss the rest of the 2009 Championship.[12]


Donaghy won the Kerry Under 21 Football Championship with Tralee District in 2001,Austin Stacks in 2002 and lost the final with Stacks the in 2003.[1]

He played in losing County Senior Championship Finals in 2001, 2010 and 2013 with Austin Stacks.

International rules[edit]

Donaghy has represented Ireland in the International Rules Series in 2006 and 2008.


Donaghy has played for Munster in the Railway Cup.


In 2005 Donaghy won the Basketball National Cup and Superleague with the Tralee Tigers and was named as Irish player of the year,[1] despite missing much of the season due to football commitments.

Personal life[edit]

Donaghy works for Ulster Bank.

He is also a keen poker player and appeared on the Late Night Stars of Poker, which aired on RTÉ Television in November 2009. He supports Chelsea F.C.

In January 2013, he married long-term girlfriend Hilary Stephenson in Waterville, County Kerry.[13] He then went on honeymoon to America where he attended the Super Bowl.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "cul4kidz profile on Donaghy". Cul4kidz website. 2006. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  2. ^ Shooting 'Star' burns brightest
  3. ^ Shooting 'Star' burns brightest
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Shooting 'Star' burns brightest
  6. ^ "Kerry 3-13 Cork 1-09". RTÉ News. 16 September 2007. 
  7. ^ "Donaghy's apology not enough". The Irish Times. 3 March 2008. 
  8. ^ Keys, Colm (19 March 2008). "Kerry forward made gesture after being struck by missile". Irish Independent. 
  9. ^ "Mayo to install temporary video cameras". RTÉ News. 26 March 2008. 
  10. ^ "Tyrone 1-15 Kerry 0-14". RTÉ. 21 September 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  11. ^ "Football All Stars". RTÉ News. 17 May 2007. 
  12. ^ "Donaghy broken bone confirmed". RTÉ Sport. 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  13. ^ O'Sullivan, Majella (19 January 2013). "All-star turnout as Kerry football hero Kieran Donaghy says 'I do'". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Kerry Star turns up at the Superbowl". Hogan Stand. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 

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