The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship of 1998 (known for sponsorship reasons as the Guinness Hurling Championship 1998) was the 112th staging of Ireland's premier hurling competition. Offaly won the championship, beating Kilkenny 2-16 to 1-13 in the final at Croke Park, Dublin.
1998 was the second year that the controversial "back door" or qualifier system was used in the All-Ireland Championship. While the two provincial final winners automatically qualify for the All-Ireland semi-finals the two defeated provincial teams join Galway and the Ulster provincial final winners in two "quarter-finals". The two winners from these two games qualify for the semi-finals where they meet the Leinster and Munster winners. In 1998 Waterford and Offaly were the two teams to benefit from the qualifier system.
The All-Ireland semi-final replay between Clare and Offaly ended in controversy and disarray when the referee, Jimmy Cooney, mistakenly ended the game five minutes earlier than he had intended. Clare were three points up, 1-16 to 2-10 at this point. When the whistle blew there was disarray in Croke Park as the disgruntled Offaly supporters began a sit-down protest on the pitch. A Kildare v. Kerry IHC game planned for afterwards had to be cancelled.
Clare manager Ger Loughnane was adamant that the result should stand as the referee's word should be deemed final. However, as the game hadn't been completed to 70 minutes, the Gaelic Athletic Association had to re-fix the semi final replay. In the re-fixture in Thurles 6 days later, the result was reversed with Offaly winning the game on a score of 0-16 to 0-13.
As a result of the new Qualifier system of games for the second year in a row the All-Ireland final was contested by two teams from the same province. However, this year the final was a repeat of the Leinster final with Offaly taking on Kilkenny. Offaly were playing in their Third All-Ireland Final of the 1990s(having won against Limerick in 1994 and lost to Clare in 1995). Goals for Offaly reversed the Leinster final result and allowed the Offaly men to defeat "the Cats" heavily.
J. Carson (2-2), L. Richmond (1-5), A. Elliott (1-5), Greg O'Kane (1-5), P. McKillen (0-4), J. O'Neill (1-0), S. McMullan (0-2), M. Molloy (0-2), C. McGuckian (0-1), C. McKiernan (0-1), J. McIntosh (0-1).
T. Maloney (1-3), P. Jordan (0-2), B. Dolan (0-1), D. Murphy (0-1).