Gary Kirby

Gary Kirby (born 12 January 1967 in Patrickswell, County Limerick, Ireland) is an Irish hurling manager and former player. He was named in a list of the "125 greatest stars of the GAA" in 2009, in which he was described as "one of the best players never to win an All-Ireland senior medal".[1] As a centre-forward, his playing career at club level was with Patrickswell and at inter-county level with Limerick. He was a key member of the latter team during the resurgence of the 1990s and collected two Munster titles, two National Hurling League titles and four All-Star awards.

In retirement from playing Kirby has become involved in team management at all levels. He was a selector with the Limerick senior hurling team under Richie Bennis from 2006 until 2008, a period which saw Limerick qualify for the All-Ireland final in 2007. While Kirby has been touted as a possible future manager of Limerick, he has been in charge of the Patrickswell senior hurling team since 2008.[2]

Kirby played his club hurling with the famous Patrickswell team and enjoyed much success in a club career that spanned three decades.[3] He first came to prominence on the club scene as a seventeen-year-old in 1984, when he starred on both the club's minor and senior teams. Furthermore, Kirby collected a minor county title while a defeat of Cappamore gave him his very first senior county championship winners' medal.[4]

Three years later Kirby was a key member of the forwards as rivals Ballybrown provided the opposition in another county championship decider. 'The Well' narrowly took the title by 1-17 to 3-10 and Kirby collected his second winners' medal.

In 1988 Patrickswell contested the county championship decider for the second consecutive year. Cappamore provided the opposition; however, Patrickswell triumphed by ten points and Kirby added a third county title to his collection. Patrickswell later represented the county in the provincial series of games and even reached the final. The famous Mount Sion club provided the opposition; however, Patrickswell won by 3-13 to 2-13 and Kirby collected a Munster club winners' medal.[5] Patrickswell's run of success came to an end in the All-Ireland semi-final when the O'Donovan Rossa GAC Belfast club defeated the Munster champions by a single point.

Patrickswell failed to make it three-in-a-row in 1989; however, the team bounced back the following year to defeat Adare and give Kirby a fourth county championship title. He later added a second Munster club title to his collection following a triumph over Éire Óg; however, he was back on the team for the All-Ireland final against Glenmore. The game was an exciting one; however, Patrickswell only held the lead on one occasion when Leonard Enright opened the scoring. A 1-13 to 0-12 score line gave Glenmore the title.

The next decade saw Patrickswell become the dominant force in club hurling in Limerick. Kirby won his fifth county championship title in 1993. He added to his haul of medals as Patrickswell won three county championships in-a-row in 1995, 1996 and 1997. This latter win was subsequently followed by another Munster final appearance. Clarecastle provided the opposition and eventually won the game by two points.

This page was last edited on 19 June 2018, at 15:54 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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