|Created by||Animo Television/Kite Entertainment|
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|No. of seasons||5|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original network||RTÉ One|
|Original release||23 March 2008 – 2012|
Celebrity Bainisteoir was a prime-time reality programme broadcast by RTÉ and produced by Animo Television/Kite Entertainment. Created by Fiona Looney, it involved a number of celebrities competing against each other as Gaelic football team coaches or bainisteoir.
During and after its eight-part original run in 2008, the "hugely popular RTÉ Television tournament" was widely mentioned in the media including such newspapers such as An Phoblacht, The Belfast Telegraph, the Evening Echo, the Irish Examiner, the Irish Independent, the Irish News and The Irish Times. During the first series, a pop culture website asked its readers "If you weren’t watching Celebrity Bainisteoir last night, then where were you?"
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. 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)  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. 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.' 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."
|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:
- Baz Ashmawy, television presenter from shows such as How Low Can You Go? and (after Celebrity Bainisteoir) Fáilte Towers, managed Ballymanus from Wicklow. The Irish Times reported him managing his team while wearing 'nicely polished footwear'
- Glenda Gilson, a model and TV presenter called 'one of Ireland’s most photographed faces', managed the Crumlin club from Dublin
- Jon Kenny, actor, comedian, and musician, managed Galtee Gaels of Limerick. As part of his strategy, Kenny brought in a group of traditional Irish musicians to teach the team a song
- Gerald Kean, solicitor and 'bon vivant', managed Cork club side Mayfield
- Nell McCafferty, journalist, playwright, civil rights campaigner and feminist, managed St Mary's Faughanvale from Derry. At one point she said she asked herself 'what it would be like to work exclusively with men,' and said it was 'so far, extremely difficult'
- Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, former Rose of Tralee and regular member of The Panel on RTÉ Two, managed the Kiltimagh club of Mayo
- Mary O'Rourke, Fianna Fáil TD for Longford–Westmeath, managed Maryland of Westmeath. She was replaced during the competition by television host Marty Whelan
- Ivan Yates, bookmaker and former Fine Gael politician, managed the Taghmon-Camross from Wexford
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. 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.
The games featured in Celebrity Bainisteoir programme were officially sanctioned by the GAA 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. 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.'
The final tournament was a 'thrilling encounter' 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." 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.
Tír Chonaill Gaels won this game 1-06 to Maryland's 0-07.
|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|
|Mairead Farrell||Dublin||Ballymun Kickhams||Radio & TV Presenter|
|Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh||Meath||Nobber||TV Presenter|
|Nuala Carey||Offaly||Shannonbridge/Clonmacnoise||Weather woman on RTÉ|
|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|
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. Majella O'Donnell managed Lissan after Dana left to contest the 2011 Irish presidential election. Cascarino ultimately beat Gogarty, with extra-time being needed in the final for the first time in Celebrity Bainisteoir.
|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.|
- 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
- Carey, Daniel (26 February 2008). "Managing just fine". The Mayo News. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Celebrities eye GAA glory in new TV show". Irish Examiner. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- "Celebrity Bainisteoir". RTÉ One. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- "Writer created celebrity TV series - judge". The Irish Times. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
-  Maryland win Celebrity Bainisteoir (Athlone.ie Local News 2008)
-  An Phoblacht Letters 2008-05-15
-  Belfast Telegraph (Tuesday, 18 December 2007) McCafferty team boss "by Michael Boyle and Will Ellison"
-  Mayfield GAA: Celebrity Bainisteoir Press Clippings
-  Irish Independent News & Gossip: Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
-  The Irish News (16 May 2008) Tá’n lucht leanúna ag dúil go mór le cluiche ceannais Celebrity Bainisteoir (in Irish and English)
-  The Irish Times (Saturday, 5 April 2008) Back to a familiar future
-  Irish Times (Thu 8 August 2007) RTÉ's autumn schedule to include 25 new series, documentaries
-  Irish Times (Monday, 4 August 2008) RTÉ chief warns staff of 'a most challenging' 2009
-  If you weren’t watching Celebrity Bainisteoir last night...(jazzbiscuit.com)
- Murphy, Claire (3 September 2008). "RTÉ gets the ball rolling for new series of Celebrity Bainisteoir". Evening Herald. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
-  Celebrity Bainisteoir reviewed by Conor O'Neill (31 March 2008)
-  Rattle the boards
-  Maryland G (winners of Celebrity Bainisteoir) are heading for the dogs! - 16 July 2008
-  Mayfield GAA V Kiltimagh GAA Match Review
-  Iarnród Éireann General News
- "RTÉ's Celebrity Bainisteoirs announced" Archived 17 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. RTÉ Ten. 15 July 2011.
- "Lissan GAC". Mid Ulster Mail. 27 September 2011.
- "Cascarino wins Celebrity Bainisteoir". RTÉ Ten. 7 November 2011.
- Butler, Laura. "Soccer star Tony wins Celeb Bainisteoir title". Evening Herald. 7 November 2011.