2023 Ulster Schools Hurling All-Star team

April 11, 2023

RUAIRÍ Ó Mianáin and Tomás Galvin picked up back-to-back All-stars when the 2022-23 Danske Bank Ulster schools’ hurling All-star team was announced yesterday.

Ó Mianáin’s award last year was a first for Gaelcholáiste Dhoire and he is back again in the half-forward line while Galvin, representing St Patrick’s Keady moves from corner-forward to full-forward.

Both players have progressed over the past 12 months with Ó Mianáin winning a starting jersey in the Slaughtneil senior team that completed a 10-in-a-row of Derry titles last autumn. He has also led his school to the Danske Bank Casement Shield and represented his county at under 20 level.

Meanwhile Galvin is now part of the Armagh senior squad making his debut earlier this year in the national league encounter with Louth.

The team announced yesterday is dominated by the three north Antrim schools; Cross & Passion Ballycastle with three awards and Mageean Cup finalists St Louis Ballymena (four) and St Killian’s Garron Tower (three).

Ulster minor club champions Loughgiel have four players in the line-up, two each from Mageean champions St Louis and two of the three CPC players including Liam Glackin who recently captained the Ballycastle school to the Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup.

St Louis Ballymena’s Mageean Cup winning captain and player of the final Aodhán McGarry is included in the half-back line where his older brother and current Antrim senior defender Ryan also won an All-star award six years ago.

Another following in the footsteps of a brother is Shea Pucci; Eoin Pucci was on last year’s team while Slaughtneil pair Ruairí Ó Mianáin and Fionn McEldowney each have an older sister who picked up schools’ camogie All-stars on their way to becoming All-Ireland club medallists.

Meanwhile midfielder Oran Donnelly’s father Ronan appeared in the same position in the 1990 All-star team, kick-starting a career that saw him become an Antrim and Ulster regular. Oran though, might well be heading up the ladder in another code as he is already on the books at Cliftonville.

Indeed a number of the All-stars have won awards in various sports and they include Ju-jitsu and water-polo internationals, others on Ulster rugby development squads, Ulster athletic teams as well as the usual range of gaelic and soccer players.

Chairman of Ulster schools’ GAA Jimmy Smyth congratulated the players on their awards: “Ulster Schools would like to congratulate all these young men who have now joined a long list of previous winners. The hope is that they will emulate the many former winners who have gone on to have a long and successful career with their club and county.

“Their selection today has brought great joy to their schools, especially in Gaelcholáiste Dhoire and St Patrick’s Keady, to where Ruairí Ó Mianáin and Tomás Galvin bring their second awards.”

Danske Bank Chief Executive Vicky Davies said: “The Ulster Schools’ All Stars is a celebration of GAA youth sports and is something that Danske Bank is very proud to support. The players’ passion and dedication is inspiring and it’s great to see so many young people thrive through sport.”

The Danske Bank All-star Football team will be announced on Wednesday and both teams will be honoured at a Gala Banquet in the Ramada Hotel Belfast on April 28.

2022-23 Danske Bank Ulster Colleges’ Hurling All Stars:

1. John V Morgan – St Killian’s, Garron Tower

2. Kevin O’Boyle – St Louis, Ballymena

3. Ben McGarry – Cross & Passion, Ballycastle

4. Fionn McEldowney – St Patrick’s, Maghera

5. Enda McGurk – St Mary’s CBGS, Belfast

6. Liam Glackin – Cross & Passion, Ballycastle

7. Aodhán McGarry – St Louis, Ballymena

8. Darragh Patterson – St Louis, Ballymena

9. Oran Donnelly – Cross & Passion, Ballycastle

10. Ruairí Ó Mianáin – Gaelcholáiste Dhoire

11. Shea Pucci – Our Lady & St Patrick’s, Knock

12. Cormac McKeown – St Killian’s, Garron Tower

13. Joseph McLaughlin – St Killian’s, Garron Tower

14. Tomás Galvin – St Patrick’s, Keady

15. Jack McCloskey – St Louis, Ballymena.

by Seamus McAleenan published in The Irish News 11/04/23