Kerry GAA

Kerry GAA
Irish: Ciarraí
Province: Munster
Nickname(s): The Kingdom, The Green and Gold
County colours:          
Ground(s): Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney
Austin Stack Park, Tralee
Dominant sport: Gaelic Football
NFL: Division 1
NHL: Division 1B
Football Championship: Sam Maguire Cup
Hurling Championship: Liam MacCarthy Cup
Ladies' Gaelic football: Brendan Martin Cup
Standard kit
Regular kit
Change kit

The Kerry County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (or Kerry GAA) is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Kerry. The county board is also responsible for the Kerry inter-county teams.

The Kerry branch of the Gaelic Athletic Association was founded in the year 1888. Gaelic football is the dominant sport in the county, with both the men's and women's teams among the strongest in the country at senior level. In hurling, the men's side compete in the sport's premier inter-county competition, the Liam MacCarthy Cup, while the camogie team does not compete at senior level.

Kerry have been the most successful team in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, topping the list of counties for All-Irelands won. They have won the competition on 37 occasions, including two four-in-a-rows (19291932, 19781981) and two three-in-a-rows (19391941, 19841986). The Ó Sé family are particularly renowned: beginning with Páidí, they have had at least one member play a part in all 22 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Finals that Kerry have participated in between 1975 and 2014.[1]

Crest and colours


The team's current crest, which came into use in 2012, features design elements that represent the county: Kerry’s people, landscape, flora, fauna and artistry.

County name – A bold decorative Celtic-style Ciarraí brand featuring a crowned C which pays homage to the county’s moniker, 'The Kingdom'

Kerry’s people – St Brendan and his epic voyage: an inspiring tale of bravery, skill and innovation. The naomhóg (a craft associated with the coastal communities around Kerry) is propelled by a sail featuring a Celtic cross – the symbol of the GAA

Kerry’s fauna – Red Deer (Fia Rua): Ireland’s largest wild animal whose only remaining native herd is found on the slopes of Torc and Mangerton. These animals are believed to have had a continuous presence in Ireland since the end of the last Ice Age (c. 10,000 BC) and are steeped in folklore. It is said that ‘Tuan’, the King of the Deer, was given rights of free passage by Fionn McCool to the mountains of Kerry and that his blood line lives on in the present herd

Kerry’s landscape – Skellig Michael’s iconic silhouette rising out of the Atlantic ocean. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site and famous around the globe

Kerry’s flora – KIllarney woodland fern that thrives in wild exotic places; an evocation of majestic mountains, valleys and hills

Kerry’s artistry – A background pattern of concentric circles inspired by the gilding on the Ballinclemisig ‘gold box’ (part of the ‘Kerry gold hoard’ in the National Museum) and by Bronze Age stone carvings found all over Kerry

Kerry’s birdlife – Storm Petrel (An Guairdeall): Kerry plays host to the largest numbers of this species anywhere in the world and is the world headquarters for breeding pairs

It was introduced for copyright reasons, to secure the Kerry county board financially.[2] The previous crest, shown on the right, which was used from 1988 to 2011 was based more on Irish and Celtic symbolism, featuring a round-tower church, an Irish Wolfhound and a harp.

Kits and colours

Kerry traditional colours are gold and green and the county team kits are composed by a green shirt with a single golden hoop, white shorts and green and gold socks. In the early days of the All-Ireland Football Championship, counties were represented by the county champions. Kerry's first represpentatives were from Laune Rangers, and the blue of Laune Rangers[3] was worn in Kerry's first championship outing in 1889. The royal blue of Laune Rangers[4] were also worn in the 1892 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final. Between 1889 and 1895 inclusive, the teams that went forward to represent Kerry were Laune Rangers and Ballymacelligott, who both wore blue.

In the early 20th century, selection committees had been established by the county board, but as Tralee Mitchels dominated the county championship, they had an influential voice in the selection of the team, and the county footballers wore the Mitchels colours of green and gold.[5]

There are conflicting accounts of the jersey that Kerry wore in the first of the three games of the 1903 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final series with Kildare, but both accounts agree that the predominant colour was red. One account says that it was a red jersey with green neck and cuffs,[4][6] which were the colours of the Tralee Mitchels junior football team. Another account says that it was an entirely red jersey[7] with no green in it. The reason that Kerry wore this red or mainly red jersey was that a new set of green and gold jerseys was not delivered in time for the game. For the later games in the 1903 series of games, Kerry wore green jerseys with gold on the cuffs and over the shoulders.[4][8] These were the colours of the Tralee Mitchels senior team.[7]

The dominance of Mitchels players on the Kerry team at the point in which they won their first All-Ireland, reinforced the idea that green and gold were the Kerry colours, and they have been Kerry's traditional colours from the 1903 triumph onward.[9] The 'classic' style is green with a gold hoop. The colours have been changed only rarely, most of all in the 80's finals against Offaly to avoid again colour clashes. In the 1939 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Kerry were to play Meath, who also wear green and gold. To avoid a colour clash, Kerry wore the red and white of Dingle, the county champions at the time.[4]

The change kit is usually blue, reflecting the Munster GAA colours.

Kerry's inter-county teams are sponsored by the Kerry Group, in one of the longest standing sponsorship arrangements in the GAA. The teams have been connected with the Kerry Group since sponsorship became more open in the GAA in the early 1990s.[10]

Kerry's jerseys are currently provided by O'Neills sportswear.[11] The team kit had been supplied from 1996 to 1998 by Adidas, while prior to that contract in 1998, Kerry were partnered with the now-defunct Millfield brand.[12]

Kit evolution


1903 Final (V Kildare)

1903 Final (V London)

Classic kit

1939 Final

1981 Final

1982 Final




Kerry is the most successful team in the history of Gaelic football, having won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship on 37 occasions and the National Football League 19 times. The team is also the holders of a number of distinctive records in football championship history. They have contested 59 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Finals, the next highest participator being Dublin with 36 appearances. Kerry's record in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship involves having played 30 of the 31 other counties, with only Kilkenny being the exception.[13]

The traditional Irish game of caid, from which modern football developed, was especially popular in Kerry. The GAA was formed in 1884 and codified the modern rules of the game, which were soon adopted in Kerry clubs such as Laune Rangers. Despite this, the county team did not win an All-Ireland Football Championship in the nineteenth century. The 1903 title was the first won by Kerry, with them beating London in the final at a time when London were given a bye to that stage of the championship; Kerry's overall exceptional success in the game began in this period.

The Kerry team of the 1970s and 1980s is arguably considered to be the greatest in the history of football[14][15][16] and its manager (Mick O'Dwyer) the greatest of all time.[14][17][18] Of the 20 All-Ireland finals held during those two decades, Kerry participated in 12, with victory coming on 9 occasions. During this time most other finals were won by Dublin, and there was a major rivalry between the two counties especially during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1982, Kerry came within one minute of winning an unprecedented fifth All-Ireland title in a row, only for a late goal by Offaly's Séamus Darby (controversial as many claimed Darby pushed the Kerry defender, Tommy Doyle, in the back) gave the title to Offaly. This goal was voted third in a poll to find the Top 20 GAA Moments.

Kerry team celebrating with Sam Maguire Cup in Tralee in 2007

Towards the end of the 1980s, Kerry went into decline and did not appear in an All-Ireland final for 11 years, between 1986 and 1997. The 1997 victory, however, would mark the beginning of a revival for Kerry which spanned roughly the first decade of the 21st century. Of the 15 All-Ireland finals between 1997 and 2011, Kerry contested ten and won six, including five titles in the 2000s. In 2006 and 2007, Kerry won consecutive All-Ireland titles (the first to do so since Cork in 1989 and 1990), while in 2009, they became only the third team to reach six consecutive All-Ireland finals (a feat last achieved by Dublin between 1974 and 1979), winning their 36th title by beating Cork in that final. Kerry quietly exited the 2010 and 2012 All-Ireland Senior Football Championships at the quarter-final stage, losing to Down and Donegal respectively, while Dublin defeated them in dramatic fashion on the last kick in the 2011 final.[19][20][21] Dublin were also responsible for their exit at the semi-final stage in 2013 in a closely contested classic match.[22]


Main article: Kerry GAA honours

Kerry have won 37 All-Ireland Senior Football Championships and have been the losers in 20 other All-Ireland Football Finals. Kerry footballers have won some awards and hold numerous individual records in the sport. Pat Spillane received nine All Star Awards during his career, a feat matched by no other Gaelic footballer, while Tadhg Kennelly is the only holder of both an AFL Premiership medallion and a Senior All-Ireland Championship medal, the highest possible achievement in the sports of Australian rules football and Gaelic football.

Managerial history

This is a list of people who have coached/managed the Kerry senior football team in recent years.

NameClubFromToAll-Ireland titlesMunster titles
Éamonn Fitzmaurice
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Jack O'Connor
Piarsaigh Na Dromada
2009 2012
2010, 2011
Pat O'Shea
2007 2008
Jack O'Connor
Piarsaigh Na Dromada
2004 2006
2004, 2006
2004, 2005
Páidí Ó Sé
An Ghaeltacht
1995 2003
1997, 2000
1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003
Ogie Moran
1992[23] 1995[24]
Mickey Ned O'Sullivan
1989 1992
Mick O'Dwyer
1975 1989[26]
1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986
1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986
Johnny Culloty
Killarney Legion
1972 1974
Joe Keohane
John Mitchels
1971[28] 1972
Jackie Lyne
Killarney Legion
1968[29] 1971[30]
1969, 1970
1968, 1969, 1970
Dr. Jim Brosnan
1965[31] 1968[32]

Current football squad

No. Player Position Club
1 Brian Kelly Goalkeeper Legion
2 Shane Enright Right Corner Back Tarbert
3 Mark Griffin Full Back St. Michael's/Foilmore
4 Killian Young (c) Left Corner Back Renard
5 Brian Ó Beaglaoich Right Half Back An Ghaeltacht
6 Peter Crowley Centre Back Laune Rangers
7 Tadhg Morley Left Half Back Templenoe
8 Kieran Donaghy Midfield Austin Stacks
9 David Moran Midfield Kerins O'Rahilly's
10 Paul Murphy Right Half Forward Rathmore
11 Colm Cooper Centre Forward Dr Crokes
12 Donnchadh Walsh Left Half Forward Cromane
13 Stephen O'Brien Right Corner Forward Kenmare Shamrocks
14 Paul Geaney Full Forward Dingle
15 James O'Donoghue Left Corner Forward Legion
No. Player Position Club
16 Brendan Kealy Substitute Kilcummin
17 Darran O'Sullivan Substitute Glenbeigh-Glencar
18 Bryan Sheehan Substitute St. Mary's
19 Barry John Keane Substitute Kerins O'Rahilly's
20 Marc Ó Sé Substitute An Ghaeltacht
21 Jonathan Lyne Substitute Legion
22 Fionn Fitzgerald Substitute Dr Crokes
23 Anthony Maher Substitute Duagh
24 Aidan O'Mahony Substitute Rathmore
25 Michael Geaney Substitute Dingle
26 Johnny Buckley Substitute Dr Crokes

Squad as per Kerry v Dublin, 2016 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi Final, 28 August 2016

Ladies' football




In 2003, team made it to the fourth round of the qualifiers only to go down to Limerick 1-14 to 0-24 in Austin Stack Park in Tralee. Along the way they beat Westmeath, Carlow and beaten Ulster finalists Derry. The wins over Westmeath and Carlow represented the first time a Kerry team strung two consecutive Championship victories together. It also marked the first occasion that the Kerry hurling team played more championship games then the Kerry football team.

For many years the senior team played in the Junior and Intermediate Championships and had some success. They won All-Ireland titles at Junior level in 1961 and 1972, and won a Munster Championship at junior level in 1956. At Intermediate level they won Munster titles in 1970 and 1973.

Kerry have played in just one Munster Minor Hurling Championship Final, in 1938, when they lost to a Cork team that included the great Christy Ring. They have however won and played in a number of All-Ireland B Finals.

Kerry have never won the Munster Under-21 Hurling Championship, their most notable achievement in the championship came in 2004 when they ran Limerick to 3 points in Austin Stack Park. They have however won and played in a number of All-Ireland U21 B Championship Finals.

Kerry won the Division 2B final of the 2015 National Hurling League and advanced to the relegation/promotion match with favorites Antrim, a late point by substitute John Egan saw Kerry advance to Division 1B.[33]


Notable hurlers

Current team

No. Player Position Club
1 Stephen Murphy Goalkeeper Causeway
2 Dougie Fitzell Right Corner Back Kilmoyley
3 Paud Costello Full Back Ballyduff
4 Bryan Murphy Left Corner Back Causeway
5 Seán Weir Right Half Back Crotta O'Neill's
6 Darren Dinneen Centre Back St. Brendan's Ardfert
7 Daniel Collins Left Half Back Kilmoyley
8 John Griffin (c) Midfield Lixnaw
9 Patrick Kelly Midfield Clarecastle
10 Michael O'Leary Right Half Forward Abbeydorney
11 Shane Nolan Centre Forward Crotta O'Neill's
12 Colm Harty Left Half Forward Causeway
13 Mikey Boyle Right Corner Forward Ballyduff
14 Pádraig Boyle Full Forward Ballyduff
15 Keith Carmody Left Corner Forward Causeway
No. Player Position Club
16 James Logue Substitute Ballingarry
17 Tommy Casey Substitute Causeway
18 John Egan Substitute St. Brendan's Ardfert
19 James Flaherty Substitute Lixnaw
20 Rory Horgan Substitute St. Brendan's Ardfert
21 Philip Lucid Substitute Ballyheigue
22 Giles O'Grady Substitute Ballyduff
23 Brendan O'Leary Substitute Abbeydorney
24 Adrian Royle Substitute Kilmoyley
25 Darragh Shanahan Substitute Lixnaw
26 David Butler Substitute Knockavilla-Donaskeigh

Squad as per Kerry vs Antrim, 2015 National Hurling League 1B, Relegation Play-Off, 11 April 2015


Cillard and a selected Kerry team won divisional honours at Féile na nGael in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Under Camogie's National Development Plan 2010-2015, "Our Game, Our Passion,"[36] Donegal, Kerry, Mayo and Monaghan are to get a total of 14 new clubs by 2015.[37]


Club competitions


  1. "22nd final for Kerry's famous Ó Sé clan". Hogan Stand. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  2. "New Kerry GAA crest gets a mixed reception". Irish Independent. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Kerry Colours", The Kerryman, 05/12/1953, 9.14
  5. McElligott, Richard (2013). 'Forging a Kingdom: The GAA in Kerry 1884-1934'.Collins Press. p. 174. ISBN 9781848891777.
  6. County Colours -
  7. 1 2 "1903 colours", The Kerryman, 28/01/1961, p. 7
  8. "Helped Kerry win 1903 title!", The Kerryman, Supplement, 19/09/1986, p. 12
  9. McElligott, Richard (2013). 'Forging a Kingdom: The GAA in Kerry 1884-1934'.Collins Press. p. 175. ISBN 9781848891777.
  10. "The GAA's great brand divide". Irish Independent. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  11. "David vs Goliath – O'Neills vs Adidas".
  12. "Croke Park row stalls Kerry's Adidas kit deal". Irish Independent. 5 June 1998. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  13. Nolan, Sean (2 August 2012). "Hospital Pass: Kerry eye up Kilkenny and where Andy Moran wants to play the All-Ireland final". JOE. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  14. 1 2 Keane, Paul (2003-04-20). "GAA: Micko's still the best in my book says Armagh's Kernan". Sunday Mirror.
  15. "Tears flow freely in Listowel on the day they buried a real giant". The Kingdom. 15 December 2005. Retrieved 15 December 2005.
  16. "Better late than never". Irish Examiner. 24 September 2005. Retrieved 24 September 2005.
  17. Ó Sé, Páidí (18 May 2008). "Last hurrah looms for football's most remarkable man". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 18 May 2008.
  18. "Where next for Mick O'Dwyer?". Irish News UK - News from the Irish Community in Britain.
  19. "Down shock Kerry at Croke Park". RTÉ Sport. 31 July 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  20. Keys, Colm (7 August 2012). "House that Jack built in danger of collapse". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  21. Moynihan, Michael (1 July 2009). "Brolly: Kerry in 'terminal decline'". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  22. "Colm Keys: Was Dublin v Kerry the greatest game Gaelic football has seen?". Irish Independent. 13 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  23. "The three wise men of Kerry football have Sam in sight"; The Kerryman; 18 September 1992, p. 1
  24. Sports Digest, The Kerryman, 25/08/1995, p. 22
  26. Barry, John, "Taoiseach joins tribute to Micko", The Kerryman, 4 August 1989, p. 1
  28. "Captain Joe Keohane to train Kerry", Irish Press, 20 November 1971, p. 20
  29. "Jackie Lyne will train Kerry team", The Kerryman, 18 May 1968, p. 21
  30. "Jackie Lyne retires", Irish Independent, 20 July 1971, p13
  31. "Jim succeeds Dr. Eamon as Kerry team trainer"; Kerryman 27 February 1965, p. 16
  32. "Jackie Lyne will train Kerry team"; Kerryman 18 May 1968, p. 21
  34. "Boyle's late goal swings it Kerry's way". Irish Examiner. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  35. "All-Ireland MHC 'B' final: Kingdom rule the Royals". Hogan Stand. 7 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  36. "Final goal for camogie". Irish Independent. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  37. National Development Plan 2010-2015, Our Game, Our Passion information page on, pdf download (778k) from download site
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