Diarmaid Byrnes, John Kiely and Aidan O’Connor honoured at 2022 Munster GAA Awards

Byrnes was announced as Hurler of the Year on Friday with O’Connor and Kiely honoured on Saturday evening.

Limerick trio John Kiely, Diarmaid Byrnes and Aidan O’Connor have been honoured at the 2022 Munster GAA Awards. Kiely has been named Manger of the Year with Byrnes and O’Connor named Senior and U20 Hurlers of the Year respectively.

John Kiely led Limerick to a fourth successive Munster Senior Hurling title in June following an epic extra-time win over Clare in Semple Stadium. That followed up their Munster League success in January, their third title under Kiely.

John Kiely emblazoned his name on the annals of Limerick hurling for ever after he masterminded Limerick to completing three All-Ireland Senior titles in a row last July. The Galbally native who is now the second most successful manager in the history of the game, only behind the legendary Brian Cody began his involvement with Limerick Senior Hurlers in 2013 as part of John Allen’s backroom team as Limerick ended a 17 year wait without a Provincial title.

As manager of the Limerick Under 21 Hurling team he guided the county to Munster and All-Ireland honours in 2015. On taking over as Limerick Senior manager in 2017, Kiely’s managerial crusade to greatness took off and he has led the county to four All-Ireland titles, a record equalling for the county four in a row Munster Senior Hurling titles and back-to-back Allianz League successes.

John Kiely has led Limerick hurling to the Promised Land with a string of unimaginable years of success and for it, he is assured of place in the history of the game.

Munster GAA
5 June 2022; Limerick manager John Kiely with The Mick Mackey Cup the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final match between Limerick and Clare at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Aidan O’Connor was Limerick’s scorer in chief as they claimed a first-ever Munster U20 title with victory over Tipperary in the TUS Gaelic Grounds. The Ballybrown native hit 0-30 during the campaign as Limerick fell to Kilkenny by a single point in the All-Ireland final.

Half-forward Aidan O’Connor fired 0-30 in the Munster Under 20 Championship, helping Limerick to secure a ninth Munster U20/U21 title. In his third season at the grade, he was at his skilful best in a potent Treaty attack. The Ballybrown man now walks alongside his father, Joe, who won the Munster Under 21 title as a forward in 1987.

Following group wins over Clare and Cork, O’Connor contributed 0-5 from play to post 0-10 against Waterford in the semi-final in a typically formidable fashion. Proving reliable from placed balls, he landed 0-19 frees in four outings. Nine points in the Munster Final win over Tipperary helped Aidan to add a second Munster title having secured an Under 17 title in 2019.

Posting a total of 0-10 in the Under 20 All-Ireland final saw Limerick miss out to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final by just one point. The Ballybrown forward has also won Under 21 Premier Hurling title with his club this season, adding to two Under 18 and an Under 19 title secured in recent seasons.

Aidan O’Connor

All-Star Hurler of the Year, Diarmaid Byrnes added a Munster equivalent to his name as he joined Sean Finn and clubmate Cian Lynch as winners of the Award. Byrnes was a key in Limerick’s march to the Munster title, hitting over 0-25 in the provincial campaign, adding eleven more in the semi and All-Ireland finals.

Elsewhere, Sean O’Shea was Senior Footballer of the Year, Tom Delaney of Tipp was Minor Hurler while Brian Hayes got the football award.

All of this year’s Munster GAA Awards were presented at an Awards function in the Minella Hotel Clonmel on Saturday.

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