Off The Ball


i) Kilkenny generally weren’t involved.
ii) There were recognisable figures who weren’t afraid to talk themselves up, ie. Loughnane, Liam Griffin, Anthony Daly.
iii) There were recognisable figures who had mercurial genius, ie. Ciaran Carey, John Troy, John Leahy, Martin Storey, even DJ Carey (Kilkenny).
iv) There were recognisable figures who weren’t afraid to lower the blade in a spectacular way, ie. Colin Lynch, Michael Duignan, Daithi Regan, Liam Dunne.
v) There were storylines that were accessible to the neutral, ie. Clare and Wexford’s breakthrough’s, Offaly’s brilliant insouciance, Limerick’s Jimmy White-esque snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory.
vi) You genuinely didn’t know who was going to reach the All-Ireland final.
vii) There was a greater variety in terms of setting for big matches. Virtually no match of real consequence is decided outside Croke Park or Thurles now.
viii) There was less cyncism in terms of what matches mattered. Every match mattered. No such a thing as picking a scratch team for a league quarter-final.
ix) This is unrepeatable but live TV as far as the whole championship was concerned was in its infancy and was a real novelty at the time. Same with the new Croke Park. There was a real feeling of change surrounding both the hurling and football championships.
x) Guinness’s sponsorship of the hurling championship genuinely broke new ground in terms of how sport in Ireland was promoted and tied perfectly into the zeitgeist of the time. The GAA hasn’t come close to having a marketing campaign as effective since.


Kilkenny v Cork is hurling’s worst rivalry. The two of them haven’t produced a good match since 1972.


Ah yea the 90’s was a great period for the smaller counties but the real hurling men know well that it will always be remembered as time when the traditional hurling counties were collectively in major transition.

That’s not to take away from the teams who won all irelands during that period. They’re still valid all-irelands, just slightly devalued


Now I see why it was so easy for you to deny your heritage


He also stuck an e on the end of your surname for no reason


The best thing was that we got the back door in hurling to ensure that we’d never have a period like it again.


It sure does…

There was a savage add they did around 1997 as a build up to big games… they had brainbug - nightmare as the backing track and clips of the likes of ollie baker swinging like a mad man.


All of those reasons bar the last one were a consequence of the times that we were in. None of them were specific actions or decision that Hurling or the GAA made to promote the game


I was invited to participate in one of the Guinness hurling ads because I was one of the ugliest men playing in the Dublin SHL but I had to decline due to worK commitments. It was that ad where the monsters lined the goal


I’d also disagree with point viii, plenty of scratch teams in the league back then,


It was for Clare v Cork 1997.


They had a few great ads


I forgot Panini’s “The Greatest GAA Sticker Album in the World, Ever” released for the 1995 championship season.

The foil county crests and holographic, live action effect stickers of the Dublin-Wexford brawl at Nowlan Park in 1994 were off the hook, off the chain.

So much better than that shit sticker album that was given out with boxes of Corn Flakes.


That ad was ruined by your man’s horrendous technique.


Dancing Martin Daly?




Dancing Daly still tops it.


Can I deduct from that you either hurled for Craobh Ciaran or Naomh Fhionbarra ?


I was 1 Eamonn Taaffe away from completing the full All-Ireland winning set


Eamonn’s hamstring made him always hard to get . Phenomenal talent .