All-Star Gazing marks the 50th anniversary of the All-Stars in 2021. It tells the story of the scheme from its start in 1971 right through to the present day. With contributions from 145 All-Stars, hurlers and footballers from across the five decades, it chronicles the events, the stories and the statistics relating to Irelands longest running sports award scheme.
This commemorative book has been written by Moira and Eileen Dunne, daughters of Mick Dunne, one of the four journalists who started the scheme. This official GAA publication includes a foreword by GAA president Larry MacCarthy. Here is an excerpt: “The GAA All-Stars is the most prestigious sporting awards scheme in Irish society and has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 1971”
Fifty years on, the story of the All-Stars has been penned by Moira and Eileen Dunne, daughters of Mick Dunne, who along with his fellow journalists, Paddy Downey, John D Hickey and Pádraig Puirséal, got the scheme up and running in 1971.
Using their father’s records as a starting point, the sisters met over 100 All-Stars and other stakeholders, who shared their memories of All-Star banquets, trips and what an All-Star means to players, families and communities.
The book includes the Football and Hurling All-Star teams from 1971 to 2020, and for the first time, a complete list of all players nominated over the past 50 years
Brian Fenton, Dublin Footballer, 5-time All-Star
“Winning an All-Ireland is amazing but to win an All-Star at the end of the year is unreal. It is the perfect year”.
Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny Hurler, 11-time All-Star
“Winning the All-Star meant I was joining the other great players who had won it. I was up there with Anthony Daly, Johnny Dooley thinking, I have arrived
Mickey Quinn, Leitrim Footballer, the county’s first ever All-Star
“An All-Star is something every player wants to win. I was privileged to be the first person in Leitrim to win one.”
Joe Canning, Galway Hurler, 5-Time All-Star
“It was really special to receive an All-Star with Ollie in 2009 and a great night for Mam and Dad.”
Moira & Eileen Dunne, the Authors
“The discovery of a dusty old cardboard box one day in late 2016 led to the writing of this book. Inside the box was a treasure trove of All-Star files that belonged to Mick Dunne, our father, GAA journalist and one of the founders of the long-running scheme.”
The book has been widely praised in reviews by all the leading GAA journalists, many of whom are current or past All-Star selectors. Read the media reviews here.
We also include a fascinating review from a friend who has no knowledge of the GAA but was keen to read the book from a neutral perspective. Enjoy this recommendation from Deirdre Keon of Athlone Whiskey Tours.