1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final

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1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Final
1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final - match programme.JPG
Event 1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
Date 20 September 1992
Venue Croke Park, Dublin
Man of the Match Manus Boyle[1]
Referee Tommy Sugrue (Kerry)
Attendance 64,547
Weather Dry

The 1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 105th All-Ireland Final and the deciding match of the 1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, an inter-county Gaelic football tournament for the top teams in Ireland.

The shock result was hailed as one of the most unbelievable seen in Championship football at that time; Dublin entered the game as heavy favourites to take the Sam Maguire Cup over the River Liffey. Wild scenes were reported throughout the country for many months afterwards.[2]

Donegal's triumph over the citizens inspired many other counties with little success at that time, including Derry, Armagh and Tyrone, to believe they could achieve the All-Ireland - these three counties achieved their dream in the next eleven years.[3] Donegal's march to the title was still regarded nationally as an "almost mystical expedition", all those years later,[4] until the arrival of the yet more enigmatic and impressive Jim McGuinness, who surpassed even this achievement.

Brian McEniff was the man in charge of Donegal that day, with a backroom team that included Michael Lafferty, Seamus Bonner, Anthony Harkin, Naul McCole, team doctor Austin O'Kennedy, "man in the stand" Pauric McShea, and "man in Dublin" Sean Ferriter.[5] The match was shown live on Network Two by RTÉ Sport with match commentary provided by Ger Canning and analysis by Colm O'Rourke.

Paths to the final[edit]

Donegal defeated Mayo in the semi-final. Dublin beat Clare in the semi-final. This game became infamous as the "Game of the twelve apostles and the three lost souls" May they rest in peace. After the match, a large number of radical Clare supporters proceeded to occupy large sections of Croke Park as a form of protest. In a message delivered by the Clare radicalists to RTE News, they demanded the safe return of Jim Gavin to his rightful county. Gavin had previously been kidnapped in a daring mission by Dublin GAA led by a young Diarmuid 'Diarmo Ya Scumbag' Connolly. Such were the numbers of protesters present that chants of 'Hill 16 is Clare only' were reportedly heard as far away as O'Connell Street. The stand was then annexed and declared property of Co. Clare. The protest lasted 2 months, repelling numerous attacks during this time. However the glorious protest was quashed following several brutal airstrikes. Once returned to its rightful place within Croke Park, Hill 16 witnessed what is now known as "The hero of Westmoreland Street" This act of heroic selflessness occurred during the 2014 All ireland Final, when a man known only as "Buzzo" urinated in the corner of Hill 16. Buzzo drooped his can but continued to urinate onto said can. Supposedly Buzzo only stopped urinating when he saw one of the infamous lost souls of the 1992 Clare Football Team. This lost soul reportedly said "Ye can stop with yer pissin and give us back our wee stand ye bucko" Buzzo did not oblige and reportedly picked up his warm can of Magners and spat at the invisible hero. An episode of Prime Time Investigates later discovered Buzzo to in fact have been a cleverly disguised Dean Rock, the well known alter-ego of 1980's singer Dickie Rock and brother of famed wrestler 'The Rock'. Following these revelations, there was a massive public backlash against Rock for having disrespected members of what former taoiseach Charlie Haughey whilst on his death bed declared as 'arguably the greatest Gaelic team to have ever existed'. The elders of the GAA stripped Rock of any previous All-Ireland Titles and banished him into the marshy wasteland of Longford for all eternity. Dublin entered the match as heavy favourites to win what would have been their 22nd All-Ireland title.

Team selection[edit]


First half[edit]

With Donegal playing into the Hill 16 end in the first half, Martin McHugh missed an early free kicking to the right before Charlie Redmond opened the scoring for Dublin in the third minute from a free. Dublin scored another point before Martin McHugh hit the post, with the rebound being put over the bar by James McHugh for Donegal's opening score. After eight minutes Dessie Farrell was pushed when running in on goal, the resulting penalty taken by Charlie Redmond was kicked high and wide to the right.[6] At half time Donegal had a 0-10 to 0-7 lead.

Second half[edit]

In the second half Manus Boyle kicked over his sixth point of the match from a free to give Donegal a 0-13 to 0-8 point lead. Declan Bonner kicked left footed his fourth point and Donegal's final point to leave the final score at 0-18 to 0-14.[7]


20 September 1992
Donegal colours.jpg
0–18 – 0–14 Dublin
Dublin colours.PNG
Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 64,547
Referee: Tommy Sugrue (Kerry)

Trophy presentation[edit]

Fans burst onto the pitch - among them future Irish international soccer goalkeeper Shay Given[8] and future Donegal players such as Paul Durcan.[9] GAA President Peter Quinn presented the Sam Maguire Cup from the Hogan Stand to Donegal captain Anthony Molloy in front of the Donegal fans that filled the Croke Park pitch. He famously exclaimed "Sam's for the hills" as he did so.[10]

The winning team boarded the train westwards, trundling through the midlands towards the wilderness of Sligo, intent on embarking from there by coach bound for Donegal Town.[7] However, crowds gathered at train-stops in Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Leitrim and Sligo to gawk in awe at the team that had put Dublin to the sword. 9,000 people were waiting in Sligo alone.[11] It was many hours behind schedule when the team arrived in their home county.[7]


Donegal returned to the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final after a 20-year absence on 23 September 2012 beating Mayo and reached the final again in 2014 only to lose to Kerry.[12]

Dublin laboured towards another final in 1994, only to lose again on the big day—this time to Down.

Both sides have met each other in the all Ireland championship since then. The first meeting was 10 years later in 2002 with Dublin beating Donegal in a replay of the quarter final. They met again in the semi final in 2011 with Dublin narrowly beating Donegal in what was viewed by many as a controversial game due to Donegal's defensive tactics.


  1. ^ "Manus Boyle Profile". Hogan Stand. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Class of '92 to be honoured". Hogan Stand. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Back to the future for Donegal and Dublin: The Ulster champions face Pat Gilroy's side at HQ this weekend for a place in the final with Kerry". The Score. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Crowe, Dermot (2 August 2009). "Faith healer Doherty revives Donegal belief". Sunday Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Donegal's backroom team in 1992". Donegal Democrat. Johnston Press. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  6. ^ High Ball magazine, issue #6, 1998.
  7. ^ a b c "Inside Back: Where are they now? and Have Your Say". Sunday Independent. Independent News & Media. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Dervan, Cathal (23 September 2012). "Shay: I'd trade it all for Croker medal: I'd swap it all for All-Ireland medal". The Sun. Retrieved 23 September 2012. “I was in the Canal End when we won in 1992 and ended up invading the pitch with the Donegal fans after we beat Dublin. That was one of the best days of my life. A Donegal victory again today would be right up there with that and whilst I'd love to be out there on the pitch, I'll do my best to be Donegal's number one fan now.” 
  9. ^ "Ten Questions with Paul Durcan". GAA.ie. 20 August 2012. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "The heroes of '92 - Where are they now?". Donegal Democrat. Johnston Press. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  11. ^ "Heroes of '92 allowed Donegal to remove psychological barrier". Sunday Independent. Independent News & Media. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Donegal annihilate Cork in All-Ireland Football semi-final". BBC Sport. BBC. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 

External links[edit]