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Denis Coughlan (born 7 June 1945) is a notable Irish dual player. Born in County Cork, he played hurling and football with his local clubs Glen Rovers and St. Nicholas' respectively. Coughlan also played hurling and football with the Cork senior inter-county teams. He is regarded as one of Cork’s greatest dual players.
|Irish name||Donnacha Ó Cochlainn|
|Football Position:||Midfield / forward|
|Hurling Position:||Midfield / wing back|
7 June 1945|
Blackpool, Cork, Ireland
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Glen Rovers/St. Nicholas'|
Coughlan first tasted success in 1964 when he won his first senior county hurling title. One of his colleagues on that team was the legendary Christy Ring. Coughlan went on to win a Munster club hurling title that year. The rest of the 1960s saw Coughlan add two more county hurling titles to his collection in 1967 and 1969. In 1972 Coughlan won a fourth county hurling title. This was later converted into a second Munster club title. ‘The Glen’ later qualified for the All-Ireland club final. The game wasn’t played until December 1973 because of a dispute, but Glen Rovers defeated St. Rynagh's of Offaly giving Coughlan an All-Ireland Club Hurling medal. Three years later in 1976 he won his fifth and final county hurling title. Coughlan subsequently added a third Munster club title to his collection before collecting a second All-Ireland club hurling medal following a victory over Camross of Laois.
Coughlan first tasted success on the inter-county scene as a member of the Cork under-21 hurling team. That year he won a Munster title in this grade before collecting an All-Ireland medal following a three-game series of games against Wexford.
Two years later in 1969 Coughlan played a key role at midfield as a member of the Cork senior hurling team. That year he won his first Munster hurling medal following a trouncing of Tipperary in the provincial final. Cork later faced Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final and were on top for much of the game. Kilkenny, however, came from behind and scored five points without reply in the last seven minutes to win the game.
The following year Cork’s hurling team won the Munster title once again before capturing the All-Ireland title. Coughlan, however, played no part with the inter-county team this year. In 1972, Coughlan was back on the hurling team and he captured his first National Hurling League title as well as a second Munster title in the process. Cork faced Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final, a game regarded by many[who?] as one of the classic games of the modern era.[clarification needed] Cork were leading Kilkenny by eight points; however, ‘the Cats’ fought back and eventually won the game by seven points. After playing in his third All-Ireland final Coughlan had ended up on the losing side once again.
In 1973 Coughlan was appointed captain of the Cork senior hurling team. Only a handful of players have had the honour of captaining both the Cork senior footballers and senior hurlers in the championship. Coughlan had little success with the hurlers on this occasion. 1974 saw Coughlan also win a second National Hurling League medal, but Cork’s hurlers had little success in the championship. The team’s defeat by Waterford brought the curtain down on Coughlan’s inter-county hurling career.
Coughlan’s retirement from hurling didn’t last long as he returned in 1976 to win a third Munster hurling medal. This victory allowed Cork to advance straight to the All-Ireland final where Wexford provided the opposition. Things got off to a bad start as Wexford went 2-2 up after just eight minutes. Cork fought back and ended up winning the game on a score line of 2-21 to 4-11. The man who had retired just two years earlier had finally won an All-Ireland hurling medal. In 1977 Coughlan won his fourth Munster hurling title. Cork subsequently qualified for the All-Ireland final where Wexford provided the opposition for the second consecutive year. The game was just was close as the previous encounter, but Cork ended up as the victors once again giving Coughlan a second consecutive All-Ireland medal. In 1978 Cork defeated Clare for the second year in a row in the provincial final giving Coughlan a fifth Munster title. This victory allowed Cork to advance directly to the All-Ireland final where Kilkenny provided the opposition. The game ebbed and flowed for most of the seventy minutes with no clear winner emerging. Thirteen minutes from the end Jimmy Barry-Murphy scored a goal that gave Cork a definitive victory. Cork had captured their third championship victory in a row and Coughlan, the man who came back, won his third All-Ireland title. There was talk of Coughlan retiring after this victory, but the possibility of winning a fourth All-Ireland medal in a row proved too tempting an offer to turn down. In 1979 he won his sixth Munster hurling medal and it looked as if Cork might win an elusive fourth championship title. Things came unstuck for Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final as Galway defeated the champions. Coughlan continued playing hurling in 1980 and he won a third National Hurling League medal. He retired from inter-county hurling shortly afterwards.
In 1967 Coughlan was appointed captain of the Cork senior football team. That year he won his first Munster football medal following a victory over arch-rivals Kerry. Coughlan later led his men out in Croke Park for an All-Ireland final meeting with Meath. Cork led by three points to one after a terrible first-half, but they ended up losing the game on a score line of 1-9 to 0-9.
In 1971 he won a second Munster football medal as Cork defeated Kerry, the reigning All-Ireland champions. Unfortunately, Cork were defeated by Offaly in the All-Ireland semi-final.
In 1973, he won a third Munster title with the county’s footballers. Cork later qualified for the championship decider where they faced Galway. The game was a high-scoring affair with victory going to Cork for the first time since 1945. Coughlan had finally collected his first All-Ireland medal. In 1974 he became the first person ever to captain Cork to a second Munster football title. It was Coughlan’s fourth Munster football title in all. Unfortunately, Cork were surprisingly beaten by Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Coughlan also lined out with Munster in the Railway Cup inter-provincial hurling and football competitions. With the footballers he ended up on the winning side in 1972. He won a Railway Cup hurling medal in 1978.
|All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championships||3||1976, 1977, 1978|
|Munster Senior Hurling Championships||5||1969, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979|
|National Hurling Leagues||1||1980|
|All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championships
|All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championships||1||1966|
|Hurling All-Star Awards||3||1976, 1977, 1978|
|Texaco Hurler of the Year||1||1977|
|All-Ireland Senior Football Championships||1||1973|
|Munster Senior Football Championships||4||1967, 1971, 1973, 1974|
- Foley, Michael (28 December 2003). "Caught in Time: Cork in the All-Ireland final, 1973". Times Online. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
| Cork Senior Football Captain
| Cork Senior Hurling Captain
| Cork Senior Football Captain
| Cork Senior Hurling Captain
| Texaco Hurler of the Year
| All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Final