Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy

Infobox GAA player |
#REDIRECT_name =Kieran Donaghy
irish =Ciarán Mac Aindriú
height=6 ft 5 in
sport=Gaelic football
clposition=Full Forward
club=Austin Stacks
clyears=? -Present
clubs=Austin Stacks
counties= Kerry
icposition=Full Forward
icyears= 2005- Present
icupdate=(09:49, 17 September 2006 (UTC))
clupdate=(09:49, 17 September 2006 (UTC))

Kieran Donaghy is an Irish Gaelic footballer for Kerry. He plays his club football for Austin Stacks in Tralee. He has also played basketball for Abrakebabra Tigers. []

Football career

Donaghy switched in 2005 from playing basketball for Tralee Tigers to play football for Kerry. He began the 2006 League season as a midfield partner for Darragh Ó Sé, with moderate success. He was sent off in the league game away to All Ireland Champions Tyrone. The campaign ended with Kerry being crowned League Champions but there were some doubts about Donaghy's temperament.

He started the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in the same position as Kerry performed poorly against Waterford and Tipperary. In the Munster Senior Football Championship Final vs. Cork in Killarney Kieran was sent off for 2 bookable offences which he has maintained to this day he did not deserve. Nevertheless, he was banned for the subsequent replay which Kerry lost with a very poor display.

In the qualifier game in Fitzgerald Stadium against Longford, Kieran was moved to the Full Forward position setting up 3 goals, a number of points as well as scoring a point himself.

Donaghy continued in that form against Armagh in the quarter final scoring a crucial goal. He later apologised for goading Armagh goakeeper Paul Hearty in his celebrations after the goal and said that it was a reaction to Hearty's constant taunting of him during the game [ [ Shooting 'Star' burns brightest ] ] . He was in very good form again during Kerry's semi-final win against Cork playing off balls and scoring one for himself.

His next challenge was the All Ireland Final against Mayo on September 17 at Croke Park. Donaghy played a pivotal role in Kerrys drubbing of Mayo by a scoreline of 4-15 3-05, He created Kerry's first goal and almost immediately scored one himself.

Donaghy's emergence in 2006 was regarded as a 'rags to riches story'. He had at one time struggled to nail down a place with his club minor team. Even by 2006, he was seen as a benchwarmer with the Kerry team, having been better known for his part in the 'Underdogs' GAA reality show.

Contrary to the popular misconception his nickname, 'Star', is not due to his height (6ft 5in) and his tremendous performances but is one he was christened with by local Tralee man Aidan O'Connor. He has also been hailed as the new Bomber Liston [ [ Shooting 'Star' burns brightest ] ] . His response to this was "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" [ [ Shooting 'Star' burns brightest ] ] . He is the classic full forward target man and probably the best in his position at the moment with teams finding high ball into him almost impossible to defend.

His 2006 performances were acknowledged when he was awarded the GPA Footballer of the Year award, the Texaco Footballer of the Year award, named on the GAA All Stars Awards team and named All Stars Footballer of the Year.

In the 2007 season he caused problems for Cork in the Munster Final throughout, he created Kerry's goal for Colm Cooper and got the score that put them ahead in the last second of the Munster Final. Kerry were poor and scraped through against a dogged, determined and talented Monaghan side before playing a monumental role out the field against Dublin as Kerry won a thriller. Donaghy was moved out to midfield after talisman Darragh Ó Sé went off injured, and had a storming game against the much vaunted Ciaran Whelan. In the final he bagged another 2 goals as Kerry overame Cork 3-13 to 1-9. [ [ RTÉ Sport: Kerry 3-13 Cork 1-09 ] ]

Donaghy served a one match suspension for his "middle finger" gesture to Mayo fans in the Kerry v Mayo 2008 National Football League fixture. [ [ - The Irish Times - Tue, Mar 25, 2008 - Donaghy's apology not enough ] ] 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." He said that he made the gesture after Mayo fans threw coins at him and Kerry goalkeeper Diarmuid Murphy, and after almost being hit in the head by a piece of wood hurled from the crowd. [ [ Kerry forward made gesture after being struck by missile - Gaelic Football, Sport - ] ] As a result of this incident, the Mayo board were later fined by the GAA and ordered to improve their event management. [ [ RTÉ Sport: Mayo to install temporary video cameras ] ]


In 2005 Donaghy won the Basketball National Cup and Superleague with the Tralee Tigers and was named as Irish player of the year, despite missing much of the season due to football commitments.


External links

* [ Official Kerry GAA Website]
* [ Sunday Tribune interview with Donaghy]

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