Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy (born 1 March 1983) is an Irish Gaelic footballer and basketball player. He plays for Austin Stacks in Tralee, and formerly the Kerry senior team. Donaghy won four All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals, eight Munster Championships and three National League titles with Kerry, and is the recipient of three All Stars Awards. He announced his retirement from inter-county football on 11 September 2018.[1][2][3] Donaghy is also a long-time basketball player, currently playing for Tralee Warriors in the Irish Super League.

Kieran Donaghy
Kieran Donaghy 2018.jpg
Donaghy with Tralee Warriors in December 2018
Personal information
Irish name Ciarán Ó Duinneacha
Sport Gaelic Football
Position Full Forward
Born (1983-03-01) 1 March 1983 (age 37)
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Nickname Star
Occupation Sales Manager
Years Club
Austin Stacks
Club titles
Kerry titles 1
Munster titles 1
Years County Apps (scores)
Kerry 60 (13-32)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 8
All-Irelands 4
All Stars 3



Donaghy's emergence in 2006 was regarded as a 'rags to riches story'. In 2004, before he made his breakthrough on the Kerry senior side, Donaghy took part in the GAA reality TV show Underdogs on TG4. He played in a one-off game against Kerry while on the show.[4] He made his Kerry debut against Dublin in 2005 and won a Munster Senior Football Championship medal with the county that year. Donaghy previously played basketball for Tralee Tigers since a young age and represented his country at a number of underage levels.


Donaghy began the 2006 Championship (Ireland)championship season as a midfield partner for Darragh Ó Sé and Kerry were crowned NFL champions. Donaghy began the Championship in the same position, as Kerry reached the Munster Championship final against old rivals Cork. Donaghy was sent off for two bookable offenses and he was banned for the subsequent replay, from which Cork emerged victorious. A round later in the Qualifiers against Longford, Donaghy was moved to the full forward position. It proved a very successful switch as he set up three goals, a number of points and scored a point himself. Against Armagh in the All-Ireland quarter-final, he scored a goal. Following alleged provocation that he was "only a basketball player" he goaded Armagh goalkeeper Paul Hearty in his celebrations after the goal - but later acknowledged his indiscretion. Kerry beat Cork in the semi-final and met Mayo in the All-Ireland final. Donaghy played a pivotal role in Kerry's winning by 4-15 to 3-05. He scored a 1-02 and set up another goal in the match. He later won an All Star award and was included in the GPA Team of the Year. He was named All Stars Footballer of the Year, GPA Footballer of the Year, Texaco Footballer of the Year and was hailed as the new Bomber Liston. He denied this, saying: "It's very flattering to be compared to him, but I'd need to play in a good few All-Ireland finals to be in the same league as him".


Kerry won the 2007 Munster Championship, beating Cork in the final by two points. Donaghy set up Kerry's goal for Colm Cooper and got the score that put them ahead late in the game. Kerry then scraped past Monaghan in the All-Ireland quarter-final, to set up a semi-final clash with Dublin. After talisman Darragh Ó Sé went off injured, Donaghy was moved to midfield and did well against the much vaunted Ciarán Whelan. Kerry met Cork in the All-Ireland final, winning by 3-13 to 1-9 with Donaghy scoring two goals.[5]


During the 2008 NFL game against Mayo, Donaghy made a "middle finger" gesture to their fans who allegedly were throwing coins on to the field. He was punished with a one match suspension for the incident.[6] He apologised for the incident as follows: "During the latter stages of the game and in the heat of the moment, I used an inappropriate gesture towards the crowd. I apologise unreservedly to spectators and all sports fans alike for any offence that I may have caused by this action." Kerry reached the 2008 NFL final, but were beaten by Derry. Then Cork beat Kerry in the 2008 Munster final. Kerry still managed to reach the All-Ireland final but came undone against Tyrone who won the game by four points.[7] Donaghy managed a second All Star that year.[8]


On 11 July 2009, Donaghy was injured when he landed awkwardly during Kerry's victory over Longford in the football qualifiers. He left the ground on crutches. Scan results showed that he had suffered a broken bone in his foot and would likely to miss the rest of the 2009 Championship.[9] Kerry went on to win the All-Ireland that year, beating Cork in the final.


Kerry lost at the quarter final stage for the first time since the creation of the back-door system, losing to Down 1-10 to 1-16.


Kerry lost to Dublin in the 2011 All-Ireland final by a single point. In a tight game Donaghy kicked the equalising point late on before Stephen Cluxton kicked the winner in injury time.


In the 2012 Championship Kerry fell to Donegal in the most unexpected of circumstances - an All-Ireland quarter-final in early August.[10]


Kerry would lose to old rivals Dublin in an epic semi-final in 2013. Injury would take its toll on Donaghy through-out the 2013 season and he would spend the majority of the season as an impact sub.


In 2014 Donaghy went on to play a pivotal role in Kerry's 37th All-Ireland Football Championship. In the semi-final vs Mayo, he came on as a substitute in the closing minutes of a game that was felt by many to be beyond saving and was vital in assisting a goal that led to a draw. In the subsequent replay he scored a vital goal which helped Kerry to win a place in the Final. In the final against Donegal , after a tight 51 mins Donaghy capitalised on a Paul Durcan mistake on a kick out to put Kerry up 2-05 to 0-07. Kerry were able to hold on despite late pressure to achieve their 37th All-Ireland, with much of the credit going to the revived Donaghy. His post match interview became famous for the catchphrase "Well Joe Brolly what do you think of that?"

Following his club's victory in the 2014 Kerry Championship he was named Kerry Captain for 2015. He later went on to win the Munster Club championship with Austin Stacks.


Kerry would reach the final again in 2015 losing to Dublin with Donaghy coming off the bench in the second half.


Donaghy would take part in the 2016 semi-final losing to Dublin. Donaghy released his autobiography What Do You Think of That on 20 October 2016.


Donaghy would receive a red card in the closing minutes of Kerry's semi-final defeat to Mayo after an incident with Mayo's Aidan O'Shea.[11]


Donaghy won the Kerry Under 21 Football Championship with Tralee District in 2001, Austin Stacks in 2002 and lost the final with Stacks in 2003.[4]

He played in losing County Senior Championship Finals in 2001, 2010 and 2013 with Austin Stacks.

Donaghy has represented Ireland in the International Rules Series in 2006 and 2008.

Donaghy has played for Munster in the Railway Cup.

In 2005, Donaghy won a National Cup title with Tralee Tigers and was named the player of the year.[4] In 2008, he helped Tralee win the Superleague with 22 points in the final.[12] In 2016, he joined Tralee Warriors for their first season in the Super League.[13] On 2 April 2017, a late free throw by Donaghy ensured Tralee Warriors were crowned Champions Trophy winners in an epic 74–73 overtime win over league champions, Templeogue.[14] Donaghy was named MVP of the game after recording 15 points, 16 rebounds and a game-high eight assists.[15] He re-joined Tralee Warriors for the 2017–18 season and the 2018–19 season.[16] In March 2019, he helped Tralee Warriors win the Super League for the first time, as they finished on top of the table with a league-best 16–4 record.[17][18][19]

Personal lifeEdit

In January 2013, he married long-term girlfriend Hilary Stephenson in Waterville, County Kerry.[20] He then went on honeymoon to America where he attended the Super Bowl.[21]


  1. ^ "'I'm one lucky hoor' - Four-time All-Ireland winner Kieran Donaghy calls time on his Kerry career with a touching poem". Irish Independent. 11 September 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Comment: Kieran Donaghy will be remembered as one of the most influential players of his generation". Irish Independent. 11 September 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  3. ^ "'I was going into battle for this county and that's why I was kind of so on the edge as a player'". The 42. 11 September 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "cul4kidz profile on Donaghy". Cul4kidz website. 2006. Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Kerry 3-13 Cork 1-09". RTÉ News. 16 September 2007. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Donaghy's apology not enough". The Irish Times. 3 March 2008.
  7. ^ "Tyrone 1-15 Kerry 0-14". RTÉ. 21 September 2008. Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
  8. ^ "Football All Stars". RTÉ News. 17 May 2007. Archived from the original on 29 February 2008.
  9. ^ "Donaghy broken bone confirmed". RTÉ Sport. 14 July 2009. Archived from the original on 16 July 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2009.
  10. ^ "Donegal Topple Kerry to Set up Semi with Cork". 98FM. 5 August 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2012. Karl Lacey's injury-time point booked a date with Cork for the Ulster champions, who handed Kerry only their second-ever All-Ireland quarter-final defeat.
  11. ^ "Kieran Donaghy receives a straight red card for this incident with Aidan O'Shea". 27 August 2017.
  12. ^ KIERAN SHANNON: Top 25: Ireland’s greatest ever male basketball players
  13. ^ 'Huge buzz' in Tralee as Donaghy to be named on basketball roster
  14. ^ Kieran Donaghy stands tall to crown epic finale for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors
  15. ^ Templeogue vs Tralee
  16. ^ 'Coach told me, 'You'll be playing with Kieran Donaghy. He's the LeBron James of Gaelic football
  17. ^ "RECAP: Tralee Crowned Champs Plus All Action From Today's Games". 24 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  18. ^ "Mens Super League". Archived from the original on 25 March 2019.
  19. ^ "'We wanted something the whole town could get behind': Kieran Donaghy's Tralee Warriors crowned basketball champions". 24 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  20. ^ O'Sullivan, Majella (19 January 2013). "All-star turnout as Kerry football hero Kieran Donaghy says 'I do'". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Kerry Star turns up at the Superbowl [sic]". Hogan Stand. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.

External linksEdit