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The 32 Mount Rushmores | Galway's greatest sportspeople

Galway is a proud sporting county with a tradition of excellence across a multitude of codes, and...

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

08:00 26 Apr 2020



The 32 Mount Rushmores | Galwa...
Soccer

The 32 Mount Rushmores | Galway's greatest sportspeople

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

08:00 26 Apr 2020

Galway is a proud sporting county with a tradition of excellence across a multitude of codes, and so it's not going to be an easy Mount Rushmore to narrow down.

Máire-Treasa Nic-Cheallaigh and Michael Lyster have the distinct honour on Monday morning's OTB AM of picking just four Tribesmen or Tribeswomen to make the list.

We are already seven counties into our selection, and there have been arguments, tears, and spilled milk along the way. Turns out it's not an easy task picking just four sportspeople to represent a county.

So who should be on the Galway sporting Mount Rushmore? Here are just a few names that will make many people's long-list!:

GAA

You could quite comfortably make a Mount Rushmore in Galway from the GAA icons alone that have played in maroon and white.

In hurling, Portumna man Joe Canning has lit up many's a day in stadiums from Salthill to Croker, while Micheál Donoghue's achievement in leading the county to All-Ireland glory in 2017 cannot be underestimated.

There were also the great Galway teams of the late 80s, as Tony Keady, Conor Hayes, Joe Cooney and co picked up back-to-back titles in 1987 and 1988 under the expert tutelage of Cyril Farrell.

Galway's All-Ireland winning camogie sides of 1996, 2013 and 2019 all possessed players that can stake a claim here - Sarah Dervan has two All-Ireland's and a multitude of All Stars in her back pocket for example.

4 September 1988; Galway manager Cyril Farrell is congratulated by supporters following the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final match between Galway and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/

Gaelic football could have its own fantastic four too - in fact the Donnellan family in Dunmore alone would make up the guts of a serious mountain.

Michael Donnellan won All-Ireland's in 1998 and 2001, while his father John, uncle Pat, and grandfather Mick also raised Sam Maguire aloft as members of the great three-in-a-row 1960s teams and 1925 team respectively.

Pádraic Joyce's contributions to Galway football cannot be ignored, and he is the man leading the line in charge of the county team nowadays.

Other players on the 1998 team like captain Ray Silke, the Meehan brothers, Ja Fallon, and Corofin legend Kieran Fitzgerald also have to be up there. And although he's a Mayo man, does adopted Galwegian John O'Mahony deserve a place for what he achieved in management?

Going further back, Seán Purcell has to be in the running, having made both the GAA's 'Team of the Century' and 'Team of the Millennium' at centre-half-forward. The other half of the 'Terrible Twins' was Frank Stockwell, and he has to be mentioned in the same breath.

27th September 1998. Galway's Padraic Joyce gets away from Kildare's Eddie McCormack as John Finn looks on. All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture Credit: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE.

===

RUGBY

Connacht have had plenty of famous moments over the years, ably led by a long list of talented players.

John Muldoon excelled in a PRO 12 decider against Leinster back in 2016, while he holds the record for appearances for the province. Having grown up in Portumna, it's no surprise that his roots are in hurling, even winning an All-Ireland minor medal at county level in 2000.

Eric Elwood did great things in the west both as an out-half on the field and a coach off it. Mick Muldoon earned 27 caps for Ireland between 1966 and 1976 and was a team doctor after that.

Meanwhile, Lion Ray McLoughlin was one of Ireland's greatest ever props, and is another worthy of consideration.

28 April 2018; John Muldoon of Connacht with teammates following the Guinness PRO14 Round 21 match between Connacht and Leinster at the Sportsground in Galway. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

===

SOCCER

Former Chelsea and Republic of Ireland man Paddy Mulligan may have grown up in Dublin, but he supports Galway in GAA, and visited relatives in Tuam in summers throughout his childhood.

International goalkeeper David Forde started his career with his hometown Galway United in the League of Ireland, and went on to become the oldest player to make their competitive debut for the Republic of Ireland, against Sweden at the age of 33 - the first of his 24 caps.

Alan Lee, Daryl Horgan, Pat Dolan, and Niamh Fahey are just some of the many others in the soccer community in with a shout.

10 December 2000; David Forde, Galway United goalkeeper, Soccer. Picture credit; Ray Lohan/SPORTSFILE

===

OTHER SPORTS

You could certainly look towards Christy O'Connor Senior and Junior in golf. Senior was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009, with Junior's Ryder Cup exploits at Belfry in 1989 now iconic.

Two-time Olympian and Athenry man Paul Hession became the first Irishman to qualify for a major 200 metres final, finishing sixth at the European Championships a decade ago.

Francis Barrett was the first traveller to represent Ireland, carrying the flag at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games where he competed in boxing.

15 May 1999; Christy O'Conor Junior plays a shot from the third bunker at the AIB Irish Seniors Open at Mount Juliet, Kilkenny. Golf. Picture credit; Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

===

Who would make your top four? Let us know in the comments! 

Here is Nathan Murphy's selection of Mayo's Mount Rushmore from Episode One!

Here is Colm Boohig's selection of Cork's Mount Rushmore from Episode Two!

Here is Will O'Callaghan and Paul Rouse's selection of Offaly's Mount Rushmore from Episode Three!

Here is Shane Hannon and Gráinne McElwain's selection of Monaghan's Mount Rushmore from Episode Four!

Here is Diarmuid Lyng and Liam Griffin's selection of Wexford's Mount Rushmore from Episode Five!

Here is Neil Treacy and Jack Anderson's selection of Limerick's Mount Rushmore from Episode Six!

Here is Enda Coll and Kieran Cunningham's selection of Donegal's Mount Rushmore from Episode Seven!

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

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Read more about

Galway Galway GAA Jarlath Fallon Michael Donnellan Michael Lyster Mount Rushmore Máire-Treasa Nic-Cheallaigh Otb Am Sport

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