Michael John Flaherty

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Inky Flaherty
Personal information
Irish name M. S. Ó Flaithearta
Sport Hurling
Position Half Back
Born (1917-09-27)27 September 1917
Galway, Ireland
Died 20 May 1992(1992-05-20) (aged 74)
Nickname Inky
Occupation Psychiatric Nurse
Years Club
Liam Mellows
Club titles
Galway titles 2 (1 Mellows, 1 Ballinasloe)
Years County Apps (scores)
1936-1953 Galway 18
Inter-county titles
All-Irelands 0

M. J. 'Inky' Flaherty (27 September 1917 – 20 May 1992) was an Irish sportsperson. He played inter-county hurling for Galway from 1936 to 1953, and was a noted boxer. Flaherty trained the Galway hurling team in the 1950s, and again in the 1970s, leading the side to league success in 1975. Starting out playing hurling for his beloved Liam Mellows, Flaherty went on to spend most of his inter-club days representing Ballinasloe in both hurling and Gaelic football. Also contributing as a coach and referee, his lifelong dedication to the GAA was recognised in 1989 when he was presented with a GAA All-Time All-Star Award. The currently uncontested Connacht Senior Hurling Championship was named in his honour.

Playing career (hurling)[edit]


A native of Bohermore in Galway city, Inky played in his first county championship final for Liam Mellows in 1935. Only 17 years old, he scored 3 goals, helping Mellows to their first county senior hurling title.[1] After moving to Ballinasloe in 1940 for work purposes, Flaherty joined St. Brigid's hurling team, Ballinasloe, which made the transition to senior level that same year.[2] With Ballinasloe he reached another county championship final in 1943, but was denied the win by his former club, Liam Mellows. He finally got a county hurling medal with Ballinasloe when they won the championship in 1951.


Flaherty played inter-county hurling for Galway from 1936 to 1953, captaining the side to a National Hurling League title in 1951 in New York. He also won a Railway Cup(Inter-provincial) medal with Connacht in 1947.


Flaherty was a notable referee, regularly refereeing club and county matches at different levels throughout the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He refereed the All-Ireland hurling final in 1949, a clash between Tipperary and Laois which saw Tipp winning the first of their 3 in a row on a scoreline of 3-11 to 0-3. At the age of 32, Flaherty was yet to contest a hurling final of his own.

Preceded by
Jim Barry
All-Ireland Minor Hurling Final referee
Succeeded by
John Conroy
Preceded by
Con Murphy
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final referee
Succeeded by
Con Murphy


  1. ^ Casserly, J. (2008) The History of Liam Mellows Hurling Club, 1933-2007, pp. 35.
  2. ^ "Ballinasloe GAA Club website". Retrieved 2008-06-29.