The late, great, Roscommon footballer Dermot Earley was among four GAA legends to be inducted into the GAA Museum Hall of Fame.
Picture Credit: Sportsfile
Galway hurler John Connolly and Wexford hurler Tony Doran along with Kerry footballer John O’Keeffe and the Dermot Earley RIP were honoured at a special ceremony at the GAA Museum at Croke Park today.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Aogán Ó Fearghail, congratulated the players on being named on the prestigious list which acknowledges their massive contribution to the GAA at the highest level over a prolonged period.
Uachtarán Ó Fearghail said:
“I am delighted to welcome four legends of our Games as the latest entrants to the Hall of Fame in light of their fantastic contributions to the Games and to the GAA as a whole.
“These men left an enduring legacy having helped define the GAA experience for a generation of our supporters. They remain to this day synonymous with all that is good about our great Games – inspirational warriors and sportsmen who played an important role in preserving and nurturing football and hurling for future generations.
“Dermot Earley, John O’Keeffe, John Connolly and Tony Doran are fully deserving of this distinction and it’s another opportunity for us to pay respect and gratitude.”
Niamh McCoy, GAA Museum Director, added:
“The Hall of Fame acknowledges and celebrates the outstanding performances of some of our games most memorable players.”
The late Dermot Earley is widely regarded as one of the most popular and charismatic Gaelic footballers of all time. A born leader on the football pitch, as a player he was equally brilliant at midfield or centre-forward.
In 1966 Dermot played minor, under-21, junior and senior football for Roscommon, winning an All-Ireland under-21 medal when Roscommon beat Kildare. He won the first of five Connacht championship medals in 1972. A two-time All Star, he won a National League medal (1979), and two Railway Cup medals (1967 and 1969).
In 1980 Dermot and his Roscommon team mates suffered a heartbreaking loss to Kerry in the All-Ireland Senior Football Final. Dermot is regarded by many as one of the greatest players never to have won an All-Ireland senior medal.
Dermot wore the primrose and blue of his beloved Roscommon for 22 years, playing his last county game for Roscommon against Mayo in the Connacht Championship Final in 1985.
Mayo won convincingly that day but the occasion will forever be remembered for the sportsmanship of the Mayo players who carried Dermot Earley shoulder high in recognition of his greatness as a footballer.
The quartet are now in an exclusive group of 42 legends of Gaelic Games who make up the Hall of Fame.
In 2015 the GAA Museum welcomed over 137,000 visitors, of which 40% were from overseas and it has been consistently ranked as one of the Top 5 visitor attractions in Dublin on the influential TripAdvisor website. The museum houses a vast collection tracing the birth and growth of Gaelic games and most recently opened a new exhibition Ireland’s Olympians.