People of Galway We Love You!

The Galway GAA hurlers. History makers of 1980. Absolute Scenes on the Hogan Steps with captain Joe Connolly’s immortal speech, the crowd demanding Iggy Clarke raise Liam after he missed the game through injury, and the spine tingling rendition of The West’s Awake by the late great Joe McDonagh. It was an epic moment in time for the Tribe. That line from Connolly, People of Galway We Love You, brought the house down with its knowing reference to the Pope’s sermon at Ballybrit Racecourse the previous year.

You can relive the highlights here as Galway finally break their barren run and win their first All Ireland since 1923. But where are the men that delivered Liam back across the Shannon?

Michael Coneely [Sarsfields]

Brilliant in 1980 final, later managed his club to a pair of All Ireland titles.

Conor Hayes [Kiltormer]

Came home form Amsterdam to feature in the 1980 final. Future manager of Galway and wearer of that distinctive helmet. Captained the 87-88 two in a row team.

Niall McInerney [Liam Mellowes]

Clare native who moved to Galway and togged out for the Tribesmen. Tough and doughty full back.

Jimmy Cooney [Sarsfields]

Hardy corner back, his brother Joe featured for Galway for many years also. Went on to become an intercounty referee.

Sylvie Linnane [Gort]

Tough as nails and a real legend in Galway hurling with three Celtic crosses.

Sean Silke [Meelick Eyrecourt]

Graceful and smart at no 6 he was a key part of the Galway breakthrough.

Seamus Coen [Mullagh]

A surprise choice at wing back following and injury to Iggy Clarke. His performance in the Final totally vindicated his switch from corner back.

Michael Connolly [Castlegar]

One of three brothers on the Galway team, and six in total who hurled for Castlegar winning an All Ireland club title.

Steve Mahon [Kilbeceanty]

A tough foil to Connolly, he won a second medal in ’87.

Frank Burke [Turloughmore]

Strong physical competitor who hurled at 10 or 11, he developed a reputation for grabbing goals.

Joe Connolly [Castlegar]

The second of the Connolly brothers and team captain. He was an inspiring figure on and off the pitch and his 1980 speech is still remembered.

PJ Molloy [Athenry]

A diminutive and dangerous forward he scored a vital goal in the ’80 final. Won another as a sub in ’87 and managed Athenry to an All Ireland club title.

Bernie Forde [Ardrahan]

Former u21 All Ireland winning captain, got an early goal in the ’80 final.

John Connolly [Castlegar]

The father of the team, had won and All Star back in 1971. A key figure for his experience.

Noel Lane [Ballindereen]

Came on in ’87 and scored a crucial goal to add a second All Ireland medal. Went on to become a Galway senior manager.

Iggy Clarke [Mullagh]

Inspirational wing back Clarke missed the final through injury but at the end of the game he made his way from the Cusack stand with pins in his injured shoulder to congratulate his teammates.


Michael King [Padraig Pearses]

Joe McDonagh [Ballindereen]

Gerry Glynn [Castlegar]

John Ryan [Killimordaly]

Padraig Connolly [Castlegar]

Michael Mulkerrins [Sarsfields]

Finbarr Gantley [Beagh]