Hurling All Stars 2024

April 08, 2024

ST Killian’s, Garron Tower have come out tops in the 36th Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Allstar hurling team announced on Monday afternoon at the Dub.

After winning their first Danske Bank Mageean Cup title in six decades, the Tower went on to lift the Masita All-Ireland Paddy Buggy All-Ireland title with a 4-13 to 0-13 victory over Blackwater CS from Waterford last month. They now have six players included in the Allstar hurling team.

There are second successive awards for team captain Joseph McLaughlin and Player of the Match winner for both the provincial and All-Ireland finals Cormac McKeown while McLaughlin’s brother Thomas is named as goalkeeper. It is the first time that two siblings have been named in the same All-star team.

The other three Garron Tower Allstars U19 All-Ireland judo champion Colla Ward in defence, Callagh Mooney in midfield and forward Orrin O’Connor who fired home two of the goals in the All-Ireland final victory three weeks ago.

Joseph McLaughlin has had a whirlwind few months, helping Ruairí Óg, Cushendall to Antrim and Ulster club titles. He then made his Antrim senior debut in February as subsitue against Dublin with a point and marked his first start with a goal against Galway.

He and McKeown are both included in the Antrim’s senior panel for the upcoming Joe McDonagh Cup tournament.

In addition to the St Killian’s pair there are four others picking up a second Allstar.

Cross & Passion defenders Liam Glackin and Ben McGarry get the nod again in defence, while completing the half-back line is Derry All-Ireland winning minor football captain Fionn McEldowney who was corner-back last year. McEldowney was also included in last year’s Allstar football selection.

Ballygalget and Down forward Shea Pucci from Our Lady’s & St Patrick’s, Knock is another two-time Allstar, adding to older brother Eoin’s award in 2022.

Another family making it three successive awards is the Ó Mianáins from Slaughtneil. Current Derry senior Ruairí was Gaelcholáiste Dhoire’s first Allstar two years ago.

He collected his second last year and is followed into the record books by younger brother Cathal who helped his school win a first ever Danske Bank Casement Cup with victory over Aquinas Belfast in the final just before Christmas.

There is also a first ever hurling All-star for St Joseph’s, Donaghmore with Tyrone underage dual star Leo Hughes adding the accolade to MacLarnon and Paddy Drummond Cup medals collected with his school in football last season.

Meanwhile, Charlie Curley picks up just the third ever hurling All-star for St Mary’s, Magherafelt, following in the footsteps of Conor McCann and Ryan Farren more than a decade ago.

The Lavey clubman is also a Danske Bank Casement Cup winner and last year collected an All-Ireland under 20 medal with Derry.

There are nine Antrim players in the team, three from Derry and one each for Tyrone, Armagh and Down.

Oonagh Murtagh, Head of South Business Centre at Danske Bank said:

“At Danske Bank, we’ve been passionate about helping our society thrive since our beginnings 200 years ago. One way we do that is through our youth sports sponsorships with Ulster Schools GAA, Ulster Schools’ Cup Rugby and the Northern Ireland Football Association.

“The Ulster Schools All Stars is a fantastic, long-standing initiative that recognises outstanding sportsmanship across Gaelic football and hurling each year – and something we’re really proud to be a part of. This year’s GAA competitions have show-cased the very best of our young players. It’s a real testament to how our young footballers and hurlers have been nurtured and developed throughout their school sporting career.

“The commitment and dedication to even be nominated for an All Star is immense, and we’d like to congratulate all of the players selected to participate in the trials as well as the remarkable 30 individuals who made the two All Star teams this year.”

The Danske Bank football team will be announced on Tuesday evening and the awards for both teams will officially be presented at a Gala Dinner in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Belfast on Friday, April 26.

The 15 players selected for the 2023-24 Danske Bank Allstar hurling team are:

1. Thomas McLaughlin (St Killian’s, Garron Tower)

2. Jack Loughran (St Patrick’s, Keady)

3. Cathal Ó Mianáin (Gaelcholáiste Dhoire)

4. Colla Ward (St Killian’s, Garron Tower)

5. Liam Glackin (Cross & Passion, Ballycastle)

6. Ben McGarry (Cross & Passion, Ballycastle)

7. Fionn McEldowney (St Patrick’s, Maghera)

8. Charlie Curley (St Mary’s, Magherafelt)

9. Callagh Mooney (St Killian’s, Garron Tower)

10. Leo Hughes (St Joseph’s, Donaghmore)

11. Cormac McKeown (St Killian’s, Garron Tower)

12. Orrin O’Connor (St Killian’s, Garron Tower)

13. Fionn Jemfrey (St Mary’s, Belfast)

14. Joseph McLaughlin (St Killian’s, Garron Tower)

15. Shea Pucci (Our Lady’s & St Patrick’s, Knock)

By Séamas McAleenan Published In The Iriah News April 08, 2024