Thursday, 02 April 2015 21:11

Finbarr Kiely: Hugely Successful Cork G.A.A. Coach

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One Of Ireland's Greatest Ever G.A.A. Coaches At Grassroots Of Cork Junior Clubs

Finbarr Kiely - One Of The Most Successful and Unsung Coaches In the History Of Gaelic Games


A Cork coach with an avalanche of trophies won at various grades of Cork hurling and football right down at the basement levels is enrolled in our All Ireland Hall Of Fame  Online Gallery.


Finbarr Kiely grew up in the nortside district of Kilbarry in Cork city in the 1950’s and in an area steeped in the best traditions of gaelic games, hurling was as important as religion.

His first club was Kevin Barry’s and when this club ceased, Finbarr moved to play hurling with Rathpeacon.

When Delaney Rovers on his own doorstep expanded into the hurling code in the early 1960’s, Finbarr found his true spiritual home to express his talents.


With his native club Delanys he had a long and distuingished hurling career as one of the best goalkeepers in Cork and represented Seandún in the Cork senior hurling championship.

In 1975 a mighty Seandún team beat St. Finbarrs in the Cork senior championship at a time when the famed Barrs were All Ireland club hurling champions.


The divisional team and Finbarr lost to Blackrock in the county semi final but the Delanys goalie kept on playing the game he loved for many more years.

Finbarr was so committed to his club Delanys that on the very evening of his dear mothers death, he lined out in a junior championship match at Ballinlough, Cork city, for his beloved club.


Launching into his coaching career was an easy task for a man possessed with energy and drive and securing a rich vein of titles at junior, under 21, minor and underage  grades, made Finbarr one of the most sought after and respected Cork coaches.


His coaching career took him across three clubs, Delanys, White’s Cross and Mayfield, all three clubs yearning for silverware.


Finbarr Kiely worked as a railway shunter for several decades with C.I.E. and was a key player with their Inter Firm teams.


In coaching he garnered success in huge measures in hurling and football and in 2015 is the current football coach to Mayfield intermediate team.

In work retirement he now coaches in three local schools in Upper Glanmire, Co. Cork.


The Cork coach has been one of the G.A.A.’s most unsung ambassadors for the promotion of gaelic games at the grassroots levels and his remarkable achievements will now be preserved in The All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery for current and future generations of gaelic games fans.


In an era when finance for clubs is a huge burden, coaches such as Finbarr Kiely ensure respect for the founding principles of The Gaelic Athletic Association, as envisaged by Clareman and G.A.A. Founder, Michael Cusack in 1884.


A brief browse at Finbarr’s  C.V. summarise this Cork giant of gaelic games.

Roll Of Honour as Delanys Hurler:

3 junior A' hurling championship titles 1974 - 1980 -1982

5 junior A' hurling league titles 1972 - 1977 - 1979 - 1980 - 1982

3 junior A' hurling mccurtain cup titles 1971 - 1980 - 1982


As a Cork Hurling Coach:

3, junior A' hurling championship titles 1986 - 1999 - 2005

3, junior A' hurling league titiles 1986 - 1999 - 2005

3, mccurtain cup titles 1986 - 1992 - 2005

1, junior B' hurling champioship title 1991

1, junior B' hurling league title 1991

1, junior B' hurling craobh rua cup title 1991


As a Cork Football Coach:

9 junior A' football championship titles 1976 - 1997 - 2000

2001—2003 - 2006 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010

8 junior A' football league titles 1977 - 1994 - 1998 - 1999

2000 - 2006 - 2009 - 2010

11 McSweeney cup titles 1976 - 1997 -2000 - 2004 - 2006

 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012

1 junior B' football championship title 1991

1 junior B' football league title 1992

1 junior B' football seandun cup title 1991

(54 Accumalated Titles As A Player and Coach)

As an Underage Hurling Coach:

1 u14 hurling all-ireland feile na geal 2001 (mayfield)

1 u-21 hurling championship title

2 minor hurling championship titles

2 u-16 hurling championship titles

1 u-15 hurling league title

As an Underage Football Coach:

1 minor football county 1986 (delanys)

2 u-21 football championship titles

6 minor football championship titles

2 u-16 football championship titlie 

(18 Accumalated Titles As Underage Coach)


Inter Firm Competitions:

5 inter district hurling titles

2 cork city inter-firm hurling titles

1 inter district football title

1 cork city inter-firm football title


Schools Coaching:

5 Scaith na scoil titles (3,with St.michael's n.s.upper glanmire)

                                (2, with New inn n.s. glanmire)


Finbarr Kiely was the recipient of a SportsLife Tribute & Cabaret Show at The Commons Inn Hotel, New Blarney Road, Cork, on Saturday 4th April 2015 to honour his induction into The All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery.


A huge gathering of former playing colleagues, team mentors and representatives of Delanys, White's Cross and Mayfield G.A.A. clubs joined with Finbarr, family and friends, for a really special sporting celebration of the Cork G.A.A. coaches outstanding historic achievements.






Last modified on Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:18
Jim Gavin


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