Celebrity Bainisteoir

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Celebrity Bainisteoir
Celebrity Bainisteoir logo.jpg
Created byAnimo Television
Kite Entertainment
Country of originIreland
No. of seasons5
Running time60 minutes
Original networkRTÉ One
Original release23 March 2008 (2008-03-23)[1] –
2012 (2012)

Celebrity Bainisteoir is a prime-time reality programme broadcast by RTÉ[2][3] and produced by Animo Television/Kite Entertainment.[3] Created by Fiona Looney,[4] it involved a number of celebrities competing against each other as a Gaelic football team coach; the title derives from the Irish word for a manager, bainisteoir [ˈbˠanʲəʃtʲoːɾʲ].

During and after its eight-part original run in 2008, the "hugely popular RTÉ Television tournament"[5] was widely mentioned in the media including such newspapers such as An Phoblacht,[6] The Belfast Telegraph,[7] the Evening Echo,[8] the Irish Examiner,[2][8] the Irish Independent,[9] the Irish News[10] and The Irish Times.[11][12][13] During the first series, a pop culture website asked its readers "If you weren’t watching Celebrity Bainisteoir last night, then where were you?"[14]

In the wake of the successful first series, the Evening Herald of Dublin reported in September 2008 that RTÉ was seeking out a new set of celebrities for a second series of Celebrity Bainisteoir set to air in summer 2009, and that a Celebrity Bainisteoir special would air during the Christmas season in 2008.[15] The second series began on 22 March 2009. The series was axed in 2013 and replaced with Ireland's Fittest Family.


In the series, eight non-sporting Irish 'celebrities' (see references) [11][16] take the place of Gaelic Athletic Association bainisteoirí and compete against one another as the managers of intermediate-level Gaelic football teams. Each contestant managed a club from his or her home county.[3] According to an RTÉ executive: 'Celebrity Bainisteoir is a refreshingly Irish take on reality television. Clashing the local passions of grass-roots GAA with the very different worlds of our eight celebrity team leaders, it looks like there'll be drama both on and off the pitch.'[3] As described by one of the producers of the programme:

"Celebrity Bainisteoir is about showcasing and celebrating the passion, skill and commitment of grassroots GAA, but we're having a bit fun with it by throwing celebrities into the mix. At its heart it's a uniquely Irish family entertainment programme. For the clubs it's a rare chance to showcase club football to a national audience in an entertainment programme, while for the celebrities it's a chance to learn a brand new skill."[3]

2008 series[edit]


Contestant County Club Notes
Baz Ashmawy Wicklow Ballymanus TV Presenter
Glenda Gilson Dublin Crumlin TV Presenter and Model
Jon Kenny Limerick Galtee Gaels Comedian, Actor and Musician
Gerald Kean Cork Mayfield Solicitor and Bon Vivant
Nell McCafferty Derry St. Mary's, Faughanvale Journalist, Playwright, Civil Rights Campaigner and Feminist
Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin Mayo Kiltimagh Ex-Rose of Tralee and TV Presenter
Mary O'Rourke/Marty Whelan Westmeath Maryland Former TD and Government Minister
Ivan Yates Wexford Taghmon-Camross Bookmaker and Radio Presenter

The eight bainisteoirí and the teams they managed in the 2008 series are:

The contestants were each assigned an experienced mentor to assist them in training and managing their respective teams, but were responsible for team training and tactics.[3] Glenda Gilson recounted her experiences as being extremely difficult, making her cry on the first day. She said 'I wasn't able for it at all and felt I was like a schoolgirl on a street corner trying to be cool in front of boys' and called the experience the most difficult of her life.[2]


The games featured in Celebrity Bainisteoir programme were officially sanctioned by the GAA[2] and consisted of four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and the final. The competitive athletic aspect of the programme was taken seriously by club supporters.[19] For a semi-final encounter with the Mayo team, for example, supporters from Cork urged their fellow Corkonians to attend by rallying 'People of Cork, your city and your county need your support again...If you care about Cork, You'll be there.'[20]

The final tournament was a 'thrilling encounter'[5] played at Parnell Park in Donnycarney, Dublin on Friday 16 May in front of over four thousand spectators. Of this final competition, one source praised "the much-anticipated meeting marked the conclusion of a tournament that captured the public imagination by combining the raw passion of the GAA grassroots with the glamorous world of celebrity."[5] The captain for Maryland on the day was David Martin. The Maryland GAA team from Westmeath, under the direction of their replacement bainisteoir Marty Whelan, triumphed over the Mayfield GAA from Cork by 8 points the team that were led by Gerald Kean. Maryland then went on to win the Westmeath Intermediate Championship in 2008.[5]

Christmas Challenge[edit]

Broadcast on 28 December 2008, this special edition sees Marty Whelan's winning Maryland team from the first series take on Patrick Kielty's London champions Tír Chonaill Gaels.

Tír Chonaill Gaels won this game 1–06 to Maryland's 0-07.

2009 series[edit]


Contestant County Club Notes
Ray D'Arcy Kildare Rathangan Radio Presenter
John Waters Roscommon St. Michael's, Cootehall Journalist
Katherine Lynch Leitrim St. Patrick's, Dromahair Comedian and actress
Emma O'Driscoll Limerick St. Patrick's Children's TV presenter on The Den
George Hook Dublin Cuala Rugby analyst
Andrea Roche Tipperary Rockwell Rovers Model
John McGuire Kerry Sneem TV presenter
Derek Davis Down Glasdrumman TV presenter

Series 3[edit]

Contestant County Club Notes
Mairead Farrell Dublin Ballymun Kickhams Radio & TV Presenter
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh Meath Nobber TV Presenter
Nuala Carey Offaly Shannonbridge/Clonmacnoise Weather woman on RTÉ
Andrew Maxwell Fermanagh Irvinestown Comedian
Derek Burke Kerry Castleisland Desmonds Singer with Crystal Swing
Gavin Duffy Louth Roche Emmets TV Personality/Businessman
Breffny Morgan Galway Kilconly Apprentice Contestant
Franc (Peter Kelly) Cork Fermoy Wedding Designer

Series 4[edit]

There was a fourth series in 2011. The eight celebrities were Dana, PJ Gallagher, Gillian Quinn, Tommy Fleming, Amanda Brunker, Paul Gogarty, Brenda Donohue and Tony Cascarino.[21] Majella O'Donnell managed Lissan after Dana left to contest the 2011 Irish presidential election.[22] Cascarino ultimately beat Gogarty, with extra-time being needed in the final for the first time in Celebrity Bainisteoir.[23][24]

Series 5[edit]


Contestant County Club Notes
Rozanna Purcell Longford Newtown Cashel GAA Club Model and former Miss Ireland. A native of Clonmel she will manage Cashel GAA club from Co Longford.
Pippa Ormond Donegal Naomh Brid GAA Club Model and wife of fellow contestant Brian Ormond
Jessica Lawlor Cork Ballinora GAA Club Wife of Aston Villa soccer player and former Irish international Stephen Ireland
Calum Best Mayo Moy Davitts GAA Club, Foxford Son of George Best
Paddy Doherty Dublin Scoil Uí Chonaill GAA Club Clontarf
Brian Ormond Westmeath St Mary's GAA Club, Rochfordbridge TV presenter and singer. Husband of fellow contestant Pippa Ormond
Richie Hayes Waterford Tramore GAA Club Singer and finalist on The Voice of Ireland. Bainisteoir of Tramore GAA.
Mary Byrne Carlow St. Patrick's GAA Club, Tullow Singer who rose to fame on The X Factor UK. Bainisteoir of Tullow GAA.


Quarter Finals[edit]

  • Moy Davitts Calum Best ----v---- Paddy Doherty
  • St Patrick's Tullow, Mary Byrne (singer) ----v---- Richie Hayes
  • Brian Ormond ----v---- Pippa Ormond
  • Jessica Lawlor ----v---- Roz Purcell


  • Calum Best V Mary Byrne
  • Roz Purcell V Pippa Ormond


  • Roz Purcell V Calum Best
  • Venue: Parnell Park, Dublin
  • Date: Friday 26 October 2012
  • Winner: Calum Best


  1. ^ Carey, Daniel (26 February 2008). "Managing just fine". The Mayo News. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Celebrities eye GAA glory in new TV show". Irish Examiner. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Celebrity Bainisteoir". RTÉ One. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Writer created celebrity TV series - judge". The Irish Times. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d [1][permanent dead link] Maryland win Celebrity Bainisteoir (Athlone.ie Local News 2008)
  6. ^ [2] An Phoblacht Letters 2008-05-15
  7. ^ [3] Belfast Telegraph (Tuesday, 18 December 2007) McCafferty team boss "by Michael Boyle and Will Ellison"
  8. ^ a b [4] Archived 9 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Mayfield GAA: Celebrity Bainisteoir Press Clippings
  9. ^ [5] Irish Independent News & Gossip: Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) The Irish News (16 May 2008) Tá’n lucht leanúna ag dúil go mór le cluiche ceannais Celebrity Bainisteoir (in Irish and English)
  11. ^ a b c d [6] The Irish Times (Saturday, 5 April 2008) Back to a familiar future
  12. ^ [7] Irish Times (Thu 8 August 2007) RTÉ's autumn schedule to include 25 new series, documentaries
  13. ^ [8] Irish Times (Monday, 4 August 2008) RTÉ chief warns staff of 'a most challenging' 2009
  14. ^ [9] Archived 19 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine If you weren’t watching Celebrity Bainisteoir last night...(jazzbiscuit.com)
  15. ^ Murphy, Claire (3 September 2008). "RTÉ gets the ball rolling for new series of Celebrity Bainisteoir". Evening Herald. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Celebrity Bainisteoir reviewed by Conor O'Neill (31 March 2008)
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 September 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Rattle the boards
  18. ^ [10] Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Maryland G (winners of Celebrity Bainisteoir) are heading for the dogs! - 16 July 2008
  19. ^ [11] Mayfield GAA V Kiltimagh GAA Match Review
  20. ^ [12] Iarnród Éireann General News
  21. ^ "RTÉ's Celebrity Bainisteoirs announced" Archived 17 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. RTÉ Ten. 15 July 2011.
  22. ^ "Lissan GAC". Mid Ulster Mail. 27 September 2011.
  23. ^ "Cascarino wins Celebrity Bainisteoir". RTÉ Ten. 7 November 2011.
  24. ^ Butler, Laura. "Soccer star Tony wins Celeb Bainisteoir title" Archived 1 August 2012 at archive.today. Evening Herald. 7 November 2011.

External links[edit]