Former Tipperary footballer Declan Browne and Cork legend Jimmy Barry Murphy have been inducted into the Munster GAA Hall of Fame.
The pair, who gave decorated service to club and county, will be presented with their Hall of Fame awards at Saturday’s Munster GAA awards function in the Muckross Park Hotel Killarney.
The Handballer of the Year, Under 20 Footballer of the Year and Distinguished Service Award winner have also been confirmed.
Hall of Fame Football – Declan Browne (Tipperary)
Widely considered as one of Tipperary’s greatest ever footballers, this year’s hall of fame winner, Declan Browne has achieved what many others from his county could have only imagined. The Moyle Rovers clubman was not only an outstanding footballer, he also donned the county colours in hurling for a number of years.
As a footballer he had it all and what he may have lacked in height, he made up for in skill and accuracy. Declan made his senior inter county debut in against Kerry in the 1996 Munster Football Championship. Declan received Tipperary’s first football All-Star in 1998 when he was picked at corner forward after leading the Tipperary team to the Munster Football Final. Declan won his second All-Star award in 2003.
Declan won seven Tipperary Senior Football Championship medals with his club, Moyle Rovers. He won a Munster Minor Football Championship medal in 1995, a Munster and All-Ireland Minor Hurling medal in 1996 and a Munster Under 21 Hurling medal in 1999 as well as a McGrath Cup medal in 2003 and was awarded the Munster Footballer of the year award for that same year.
One of his greatest days in a Tipperary jersey came in 2005, when he captained Tipperary to win the Tommy Murphy Cup defeating Wexford in Croke Park. Declan also has the distinction of representing his country against Australia in the 2003 and 2004 International Rules series.
Declan has now turned his attentions to team management and has enjoyed successful stints with a number of club and county teams.
Hall of Fame Hurling – Jimmy Barry Murphy (Cork)
Our Hurling Hall of Fame recipient for 2023 is one of the truly iconic figures in GAA history and has won every major honour for both club and county in Hurling and Football.
Jimmy Barry Murphy is a name that resonates around the GAA world. Jimmy having played and won Minor and Under 21 honours in hurling and football with Cork left an indelible mark of the Munster and All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1973.
It was a year in which Cork under Coach Doney O’Donovan and inspirational Captain Billy Morgan set out to end a 28 year wait for All-Ireland glory. Jimmy at just 19 years of age made his senior debut in the league v Longford, and his Munster Championship debut in the semi-final win over Clare.
The final against old rivals Kerry saw Cork produce a stunning display as the Kingdom were hit for 5 goals, JBM getting the first as Cork triumphed. Tyrone were beaten in the All-Ireland semi-final before Jimmy scored two goals in the final win over Galway as the Sam Maguire finally returned to Leeside.
In hurling, his first Championship campaign was in 1975 as Cork were crowned Munster Champions but suffered a shock defeat to Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final. Cork though came back stronger and were crowned All-Ireland champions for the next 3 years, with Jimmy getting some vital scores none more so then a goal in the 1978 win over Kilkenny having beaten Wexford in the finals of ’76 and ’77.
Jimmy was captain in both 1982 and ’83 but suffered the disappointment of All-Ireland Final defeats to Kilkenny, but Cork bounced back to win the final’s of Centenary Year in 1984 and in 1986 after which he called time on his inter-county career. In all, Jimmy won 5 All-Ireland Senior Hurling medals, 1 Senior Football medal, 12 Munster medals 10 in hurling 2 in football, 7 All-Star awards 2 in football 5 in hurling, 2 NHL medals and 1 NFL medal.
Along with Minor and Under 21 medals in both codes, while also winning 5 Railway Cup medals in the blue of Munster in both hurling and football, in fact Jimmy played a Club Final with the ‘Barr’s in Croke Park and then the following day scored 4 goals for Munster in a win over Ulster in football.
In the colours of his beloved St Finbarr’s his record is just as exceptional, winning 3 County Football Medals, 7 in hurling, 5 Munster Club medals and 4 All-Ireland Club 2 in each code.
Jimmy was manager of the Cork Senior Hurling team that won the All-Ireland title in 1999 and was also at the helm when Cork lost the 2013 Final after a replay to Clare.
In more recent years he has been involved with St Finbarr’s at Minor level. There is no doubt the JBM was and is still a Cork icon.
Under 20 Footballer of the Year – William Shine (Kerry)
This year William and his teammates offered some impressive performances under the management of Tomás Ó Sé and showcased the energy, passion and skill of our county players at all age grades. William himself had some particularly emphatic displays, showing his strength in the forwards to win ball, his agility when rounding defenders and turning on the ball and his prowess with kicking from both play and placed balls off the left and right boot. William’s contribution of six points (four from play) in the Munster Final was particularly noteworthy in helping Kerry secure the Provincial title.
William is a fantastic role model for young Gaelic Games players in the county and is always focussed on the team as a whole rather than his own tally which is a great mark of the man that he is. It is certainly a proud day for William, his family and of course his club Killarney Legion.
Distinguished Service award – Michael Ryan (Waterford)
Michael Ryan has just retired as manager of the Nire Football team and the Fourmilewater Hurling team. It’s unlikely he’ll take out the slippers and cosy armchair – that’s not his style, and never was. He has given massive service to both club and county, in codes right across the Gaelic Games spectrum.
The list is endless – Waterford Senior Hurling manager, Under 20 and 21 selector, Ladies Football supremo – the word manager wouldn’t do him justice. He has also spent time with other counties and clubs but his native area and county are what drive him most of all.
Recall that he once managed Ballymacarbry Ladies and after the match, presented the cup as Chairman of the Munster Council. Some characters talk about it and others just do it – that’s perhaps the best way of describing Michael Ryan, who is a most deserving recipient of this Distinguished Service Award from Comhairle na Mumhan, in 2023.
Anthony Fitzgerald (Friary Abbeyside Handball Club, Dungarvan, Waterford)
Anthony Fitzgerald has had a fantastic year in all aspects and codes of handball ranging across 40×20, 60×30 and One Wall, winning 15 titles across the three codes.
Anthony’s first win of the year was in the 40×20 Inter Club Junior team of 4, winning both Munster and All-Ireland titles, then in America he won a USHA collegiate singles title.
On his return, Anthony added the Junior Doubles 40×20 title with Kavan O Keeffe.
Then in the 60×30 season, Anthony had a dominant season taking home multiple titles such as another Junior Team of 4 Munster and All-Ireland title, the Junior Singles and Doubles Munster and All-Ireland titles. He completed the 60×30 season by winning the prestigious Paul Russel Memorial Tournament and the Men’s B Nationals title.
Then he switched to One Wall where in the Nationals he finished Runners up which gave him the motivation ahead of the One Wall Munster Championship. Here he had great success again winning the Munster title and also taking home yet another All-Ireland title in the Junior grade to the Deise without dropping a game.
As the season was coming to a close, Anthony travelled to Belfast for the Golden Gloves and to Clare for the 40×20 Nationals, playing 8 games in a week where he was triumphant in both competitions.
An outstanding year for Anthony where he had come through the ranks under the guidance of the late Br. Finbarr Spring which now leaves Waterford with their first Senior player in history in the code of One Wall.