A valuable piece of GAA history has been given new life, as a book detailing 50 years of the GAA All-Stars was presented to Kerry All-Stars yesterday.
“All-Star Gazing: 50 Years of the GAA All-Stars” was compiled by sisters Moira and Eileen Dunne, who’s dad Mick was one of the people to set up the scheme in 1971, along with fellow journalists Paddy Downey, John D Hickey, and Pádraig Puirséal.
“The four of them started the scheme but Dad was secretary for 25 years, so he had a file on each of the years with letters and photos and other memorabilia so we had that at home, we found that a few years ago,” Eileen explained.
After finding this archive, the sisters got to work organising interviews with over 100 All-Stars across the country in football and hurling, amassing stories of banquets and trips as well as reflections on what the award has meant to players and their communities.
“We just built on his work, we built up and got all the stories – or at least the ones that could be told!” Eileen explained.
The book also includes a listing of every All-Star team in both football and hurling from 1971 to 2020, as well as a complete list of the nominees in that time.
The book sees plenty of contributions from Kerry All-Star players, including six-time winner Jack O’Shea.
“It’s very interesting, it was Pat Hartigan the Limerick hurler pointed out that they used to do posters every year with the different sponsors and the All-Star team, and he noticed that the first poster doesn’t have a date on it, so they probably weren’t sure it would go for a second year, never mind 50,” Eileen added. “All-Star Gazing” is available now in all good bookshops, as well as online at www.allstargazing.ie.