All-Star Gazing‘ authors Moira Dunne & Eileen Dunne were guests of honour along with a galaxy of Tyrone All-Stars at a special All-Star celebration recently in the Garvaghy Centre of Excellence.

When county treasurer Niall Mc Kenna mooted the idea of hosting an event recognising the Tyrone All-Stars and All-Star nominees from Tyrone over the years it is unlikely he ever expected to get the response he did.

In September 2022 the Club Tyrone Committee welcomed many of the 158 All-Star nominees and the 57 All-Stars, plus their managers to Garvaghy to reflect on their careers and achievements.

Guests were welcomed by Joe Martin, the author of the history of Tyrone GAA. Joe set the scene for the evening by welcoming Eileen and Moira, daughters of the late Mick Dunne whose brainchild the All-Stars were. He described how, using their father’s meticulous notes and minutes of All-Star meetings they produced what is sure to be a resource many GAA followers will treasure and refer to for many years.

Joe spoke about Mick Dunne, his role in the All-Star setup and Tyrone’s record in that. As Joe pointed out the county has come a long way since the great Kevin Mc Cabe collected the Red Hand county’s first All-Star back in 1980. Tyrone are now number four on the all-time list which is quite an achievement for a county that only won its third provincial title two years after the Carrolls All-Stars were first inaugurated.

Joe Martin’s tribute to the Dunne sisters and the job they have done to further enhance their father’s legacy afforded Eileen and Moira the opportunity to be recognised and appreciated by the audience.

During the recent past, Tyrone’s star has burned even more brightly resulting in four player-of-the-year awards with Peter Canavan, Stevie O’Neill, Sean Cavanagh and Kieran Mc Geary all receiving the ultimate recognition as individual players. 

A series of small group discussions were hosted by Eileen with players from each era reminiscing and recollecting stories from their All-Star experiences. Andy Mc Callin and Sean O’Neill were also part of the Q and A and although not Tyrone men they received a real Red Hand welcome from the assembled group.

Two GAA legends from the 1st All-Star team in 1971 – Down’s Sean O’Neill and Antrim’s Andy McCallin

Credit to all involved with organising the event. It is unlikely we will ever have such a range of talent and so many truly great players all assembled under one roof again. To paraphrase “ We may never see their like again”.

‘All-Star Gazing’ the book is available to purchase exclusively online here:

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