Limerick leader Diarmaid Byrnes and Kerry football king David Clifford were crowned as the PwC Players of the Year in hurling and football for 2022 at a gala black-tie function in Dublin’s Convention Centre.
The Limerick hurlers who captured a third straight Liam MacCarthy Cup earlier this year have also been recognised with seven places on the PwC All-Stars in Hurling 2022, matching the haul of football champions Kerry on the selection announced on Thursday.
The big individual prizes on the night are the overall PwC GAA GPA Player and Young Players of the Year awards – which are voted for by the inter-county players themselves.
Diarmaid Byrnes was a popular choice coming at the end of a season that also saw him win a third straight PwC all-star at wing back. His consistency in his defensive duty and his phenomenal long-range accuracy makes him an invaluable member of this all-conquering Treaty side. His selection means that his Patrickswell club have the honour of retaining the Hurler of the Year award after Cian Lynch won the 2021 accolade to go with the overall award he received in 2018.
David Clifford celebrated his 23rd birthday this year and now has a Footballer of the Year and four PwC All-Stars in five years to sit with the All-Ireland winners medal he captured in 2022. The Fossa star forward is delighting Kingdom fans as he converts the stunning potential he showed at underage into the senior ranks.
Mikey Butler from O’Loughlin Gaels is the PwC GAA GPA Young Hurler of the Year. He cemented his place on the Kilkenny senior team this year and won rave reviews for the tenacity that also earned him the corner back award.
Jack Glynn is the PwC GAA GPA Young Footballer of the Year. A former Eirgrid All-Ireland U20 winning captain and player of the year in that 2020 season, the Claregalway man established himself as part of the Galway rearguard in 2022 and was an integral part of the team that reached the All-Ireland final.
Magnificent All-Ireland champions Limerick are the undisputed benchmark in hurling right now and dominate the high-quality list of the final 15 announced tonight.
All seven of the Limerick players named pick up their second or third individual awards to illustrate their influence in recent seasons.
Kilkenny’s four-man contingent are led by the great TJ Reid who now becomes a six-time hurling All-Star and is joined by first-timers Mikey Butler and Huw Lawlor in defence and his Ballyhale Shamrocks clubmate Adrian Mullen in midfield – who forms a novel pairing with Clare’s David Fitzgerald.
Banner genius Tony Kelly collects his fourth All-Star of his career and is joined in the attack by Shane O’Donnell who wins his first PwC All-Star following a brilliant comeback season after he had taken time out last year to recover from concussion.
Galway’s sole representative is defensive star Pádraic Mannion, who collects the third award of his great career.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Larry McCarthy said: “The PwC All-Stars stand the test of time in reflecting the outstanding displays that define our Gaelic games season.
“Another magnificent hurling season has produced an All-Star team brimming with iconic talent, and they are ambassadors for all of our players and the clubs and volunteers who they proudly represent.
“I congratulate all of our winners and also salute our players of the year David and Diarmaid and young players Jack and Mikey for their deserving additional awards and thank PwC for their continuing support of this great GAA tradition.”
Tom Parsons, CEO of the GPA, added: “In reality, any of the 45 PwC All-Star hurling nominees would have made worthy winners and that just emphasises the level of performance that the final selection put in, to merit inclusion. Congratulations to the 15 winners, all of whom stood out in a year of excellent individual displays.
“A special word of congratulations to our PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Year and PwC GAA/GPA Young Player of the Year winners. To Diarmaid and Mikey in hurling and to David and Jack in football, you’ve been voted by your fellow players as being the standout performers in 2022. They know what it takes and for them you were the standard bearers this year. Very, very well done.”
Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC, said: “On behalf of everyone in PwC, I would like to congratulate all of the 2022 PwC All-Star Hurling team on their awards. To be chosen as one of the best 15 players in the country is a significant achievement and one that each of them should be hugely proud of. Supporting the developing talent is a strategic imperative for PwC.
“We would also like to congratulate Kerry’s David Clifford and Limerick’s Diarmaid Byrnes, the winners of the PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Year awards for football and hurling respectively. As All-Ireland champions, to stand out above everyone else really is the mark of an outstanding season. And congratulations also to Galway’s Jack Glynn and Kilkenny’s Mikey Butler, the winners of the PwC GAA/GPA Young Player of the Year awards in football and hurling.”
The All-Stars scheme was first held in 1971 and the teams are selected by a panel of GAA journalists from across print, radio, digital, and broadcast media, chaired by Uachtarán CLG.
PwC All-Stars Hurling 2022
1. Nickie Quaid (Effin, Limerick) (Previous winner in 2020)
2. Mikey Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny)
3. Huw Lawlor (O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny)
4. Barry Nash (South Liberties, Limerick) (Previous winner 2021)
5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell, Limerick) (Previous winner 2020, 2021)
6. Declan Hannon (Adare, Limerick) (Previous winner 2018, 2021)
7. Pádraic Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh, Galway) (Previous winner 2017, 2018)
8. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona, Clare)
9. Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny)
10. Gearóid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s, Limerick) (Previous winner 2020, 2021)
11. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry, Limerick) (Previous winner 2020, 2021)
12. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg, Clare)
13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell, Limerick) (Previous winner 2019, 2020)
14. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny) (Previous winner 2012, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020)
15. Tony Kelly (Ballyea, Clare) (Previous winner 2013, 2020, 2021)
PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year
David Clifford (Kerry)
PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Year
Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick)
PwC GAA/GPA Young Footballer of the Year
Jack Glynn (Galway)
PwC GAA/GPA Young Hurler of the Year
Mikey Butler (Kilkenny)