All-Star Gazing – the Official Book Launch
All-Star Gazing was launched on November 11th 2021 by Michael Lyster at an event in The Players Lounge Croke Park attended by a galaxy of All-Stars and the GAA President, Larry McCarthy.
All-Star hurlers and footballers from the last 50 years joined authors Moira Dunne and Eileen Dunne for a very special evening, which was restricted in numbers due to Covid-19 regulations. The Dunne sisters were also joined by other family members, their mother Lilly and sister Una, friends and other family members.
Also attending were John Downey, Jack Hickey and John Purcell – sons of the 3 journalists, Paddy Downey, John D. Hickey and Pádraig Puirseál, who along with Mick Dunne co-founded the All-Star scheme in 1971.
The football All-Stars at the event included the legendary Down footballer, Sean O’Neill, Dubs Brian Fenton, Barney Rock, Gay O’Driscoll and Bernard Brogan, Leitrim’s 1st All-Star Mickey Quinn, Pat Critchley from Laois, 6-time Kerry All-Star Jack O’Shea, the O’Connor brothers Matt and Richie from Offaly.
Hurling All-Stars included Dónal Óg Cusack from Cork, Limerick’s Pat Hartigan, brothers Conal, Cormac and Colm Bonnar from Tipperary, Antrim’s 1st hurling All-Star Ciaran Barr and the 1st player ever to receive an award, Offaly’s Damian Martin.
Journalists Martin Breheny and Donal Keenan and RTE’s Joanne Cantwell also attended.
The formal launch included an introduction from RTE’s Eileen Dunne, contributions from Uachtaráin Cumann Luchcleas Gael Larry MacCarthy, GPA’s Tom Parsons, Ronan Finn representing the book sponsors PwC before Michael Lyster officially launched the book after some impromptu interviews with the various players in the audience. Great stories were told to the delight and laughter of the group. Then the proceedings were closed with a few words from Moira Dunne as she gave an insight into the journey she and Eileen embarked on as they travelled Ireland to meet over 130 All-Stars to get contributions for the book.
The event was preceded by a virtual launch which can be viewed here (the launch starts at 25 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz8aknOP5AU
All-Stars Interviewed for RTE Saturday Sport
Many of the All-Stars were interviewed by Michael McIntrye for a piece on Saturday Sport the following weekend which can be heard here:
We have shared some photos from the night below but photo-taking was severely limited as the group adhered to the Covid-19 distancing protocols.