9 county hurling managers who came back for a second coming

LIAM SHEEDY’S RETURN to the Tipperary hurling hotseat was confirmed last night, his second spell in charge is commencing eight years after he walked away from the post.

He’s not the first inter-county hurling boss to come back and have a second go at managing a county. Here’s how a selection of other managers fared.



Canon Michael O’Brien

Helped Cork win the centenary All-Ireland title, co-manager with Justin McCarthy for that 1984 success against Offaly. Came back to steer Cork to All-Ireland glory in 1990, contest another decider in 1992 before his time at the helm culminated in 1993.

Source: ©INPHO

Jimmy Barry-Murphy

Spent five seasons in charge of Cork initially between 1996 and 2000, the crowning moment arriving with a win in the 1999 All-Ireland final. His second spell saw him in charge of Cork from 2012 to 2015 and he came close to another All-Ireland victory when they lost out to Clare in the replay in 2013. 

Jimmy Barry-Murphy celebrates Cork’s victory in the 1999 All-Ireland final.

Source: Patrick Bolger/INPHO

Johnny Clifford

After coaching the Cork minor side to an All-Ireland crown in 1985, Clifford took over the senior side and engineered a Liam MacCarthy Cup victory in 1986. Departed in 1988 before taking over Cork again for the 1994 and 1995 seasons without enjoying a repeat of previous victories.

Source: © Tom Honan/INPHO

Gerald McCarthy

Was manager in 1982 and after serving as team trainer in 1990, he came back to the position in late 2006. After guiding Cork to the 2007 All-Ireland quarter-final and 2008 All-Ireland semi-final but his tenure ended in controversy in the winter of 2008-9 with dissatisfied players refusing to play under him and he eventually resigned in March 2009.

Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO


Eamonn Cregan

A first stint as Limerick boss occurred between 1986 and 1988 before he took charge of Offaly – famously defeating his native county in the 1994 decider – and returning to take the reins in Limerick once more for the campaigns from 1998 to 2002, steering Limerick to the 2001 Munster final in that time.

Source: INPHO


Cyril Farrell

In total Farrell had three different stints guiding the Galway senior hurlers. His first one yielded a historic breakthrough when they won the All-Ireland title in 1980 after a 57-year wait and then his second term saw Liam MacCarthy Cup glory in 1987 and 1988. He was back for a third era in the 90s but didn’t manage to replicate the previous triumphs.  

Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Mattie Murphy

Murphy has remarkably taken Galway to six All-Ireland minor hurling titles and also had a couple of stints as senior manager, firstly for the 1994 and 1995 seasons and then secondly between 1998 and 2000. He didn’t manage to enjoy championship success during that time but did claim two National hurling league titles as Galway boss. 

Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO


John McIntyre

Aligned closely with Galway hurling given his work with the county team and at club level, most notably with Clarinbridge, McIntyre also spent plenty time with Offaly. Firstly he lasted just a single season in 1997 before then returning to a post in the Faithful county where he worked for three seasons between 2004 and 2006, at a time when Offaly’s stock had fallen.

Source: INPHO

Michael Bond

Bond famously came into the frame as Offaly boss midway during the 1998 championship campaign after the resignation of Babs Keating. He turned a team in turmoil around and they were remarkably crowned All-Ireland champions by the end of the season.

Bond stayed in charge until the end of the 1999 season before coming back for the 2001 league and championship run, lasting just the one year.

Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO


Babs Keating

His first spell at the helm of Tipperary between 1987 and 1994 was a major success with All-Ireland final victories arriving in 1989 and 1991. Then Tipperary turned to Keating once more at the close of the 2005 season yet he did not enjoy a successful revival with Tipperary exiting at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage in both 2006 and 2007.

Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

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