James "Shem" Downey (5 January 1922 – 22 December 2013) was an Irish hurler who played as a midfielder for the Kilkenny senior team.[1]

James "Shem" Downey
Personal information
Irish name Séamus Ó Dúnaigh
Sport Hurling
Position Midfield
Born (1922-01-05)5 January 1922
Conahy, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Died 22 December 2013(2013-12-22) (aged 91)
Ballyraggett, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Occupation Butcher
Years Club
Club titles
Kilkenny titles 1
Years County Apps (scores)
Kilkenny 19 (7-26)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 3
All-Irelands 1
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 12:48, 27 December 2013.

Born in Conahy, County Kilkenny, Downey first arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Kilkenny minor team. He made his senior debut in the 1946 championship. Downey went on to play a key part for Kilkenny over the following eight years, and won one All-Ireland medal and three Leinster medals.[2][3] He was an All-Ireland runner-up on two occasions.[citation needed]

Downey was a member of the Leinster inter-provincial team on a number of occasions throughout his career, however, he never won a Railway Cup medal. At club level he won one championship medal with Tullaroan.[citation needed]

His retirement came following Kilkenny's defeat by Wexford in the 1954 championship.[citation needed]

Downey's daughters, Angela and Ann, are regarded as two of the greatest camogie players of all-time, and won twelve All-Ireland medals with Kilkenny.[citation needed]





  1. ^ Matthews, Sam (23 December 2013). "Former Kilkenny and Tullaroan hurler Shem Downey has died aged 91". Kilkenny People. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Kilkenny GAA profile". Hogan Stand website. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Leinster Senior Hurling Finalists" (PDF). Leinster GAA website. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2012.