Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke
Personal information
Irish name Colm Ó Ruairc
Sport Gaelic football
Position Midfield
Born (1957-08-31) 31 August 1957
Aughavas, County Leitrim, Ireland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Occupation Secondary school principal
Years Club
1970s–1990s Skryne
Club titles
Meath titles 2
Years County Apps (scores)
1975–1995 Meath 59 (16-105)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 5
All-Irelands 2
All Stars 3

Colm O'Rourke (born 31 August 1957) is an Irish retired Gaelic footballer and current sports broadcaster. His league and championship career with the Meath senior team spanned twenty years from 1975 to 1995. O'Rourke is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.

Born in Aughavas, County Leitrim, O'Rourke was raised in Skryne, County Meath after his family moved there in his youth. He excelled at Gaelic football during his schooling at St. Patrick's Classical School in Navan. O'Rourke first appeared for the Skryne club at underage levels, before winning two county senior championship medals in 1992 and 1993. While studying at University College Dublin he won a Sigerson Cup medal in 1979.

O'Rourke made his debut on the inter-county scene when he was picked for the Meath minor team. He later joined the under-21 side but enjoyed little success in these grades. O'Rourke made his senior debut during the 1975-76 league. Over the course of the next twenty years he was a regular member of the starting fifteen and won back-to-back All-Ireland medals in 1987 and 1988. He also won five Leinster medals, three National Football League medals and was named Footballer of the Year in 1991. O'Rourke played his last game for Meath in July 1995.

In retirement from playing O'Rourke combined his teaching career with a new position as a sports broadcaster. His media career began with RTÉ where he has worked as a studio analyst with the flagship programme the Sunday Game for over twenty-five years. O'Rourke also writes a weekly column for the Sunday Independent.

Personal life

Despite becoming famous as a Meath footballer, O'Rourke is not a Meathman by birth; he was actually born in the small parish of Aughavas within County Leitrim.[1] He moved with his family as a youngster from Leitrim to County Meath

O'Rourke is a descendant of the great Uí Ruairc royal house of Breffni. He has, however, been accepted by the people of Skryne in Meath as one of their own forty years after arriving from Aughavas. He is the secondary school principal in St. Patrick's Classical School in Navan where he has trained the Gaelic football team to numerous successes at provincial and national level throughout the past two decades.[2]

Crest of St. Patrick's Classical School in which O'Rourke is Principal

He has also managed Colm O'Rourke Sports, his own sports shop in Navan Shopping Centre, during this period. He started working for RTÉ on The Sunday Game in 1991, and has simultaneously been a regular contributor of sports columns in national newspapers. He is continuously being linked with managing the Meath senior football team, previously held by Seán Boylan, another man with strong Leitrim connections. O'Rourke's son Shane is a current player with the Meath senior football team, while his nephew Paddy is the new goalkeeper for Meath.

Playing career

O'Rourke is a former Gaelic footballer, having since retired from the game. He won two All-Ireland medals with Meath, in 1987 and 1988. He also won five Leinster Senior Football Championship medals and three National Football League titles.

O'Rourke received three All-Star for Meath in 1983, 1988 and 1991. His performance, playing with a bandaged knee, in the legendary Dublin-Meath matches of the summer of 1991 are still recounted in Meath and drew admiration from GAA fans throughout Ireland. When playing for Meath he was part of a full forward line of himself, Brian Stafford and Bernard Flynn, widely regarded as one of the best full forward lines of all time.

Management career

O'Rourke has in the past few years managed Simonstown Gaels GFC in Navan, guiding them to two Meath Senior Football Finals in 2003 and 2004, only for the team to lose on both occasions. However, he did guide the club to its first adult title in 2005 when it won the Meath Football League Division 1.

O'Rourke managed Ireland's team that competed in the Compromise Rules competition on two successful outings, 1998 and 1999.

O'Rourke is currently the manager for the Senior men's team in St. Patrick's Classical School, they compete in the A division and in 2001, 2003 and 2004 they won the Hogan cup in the All-Ireland, they have got to the All-Ireland many of a time most recently in 2013.

Career statistics

Team Season Leinster All-Ireland Total
Meath 1976 42-0900-0042-09
1977 00-0000-0000-00
1978 10-0100-0010-01
1979 31-0900-0031-09
1980 20-0400-0020-04
1981 10-0300-0010-03
1982 10-0100-0010-01
1983 21-0800-0021-08
1984 42-0800-0042-08
1985 20-0400-0020-04
1986 30-0610-0240-08
1987 21-0221-0442-06
1988 30-0220-0950-11
1989 32-0200-0032-02
1990 33-0720-0053-07
1991 80-0520-01100-06
1992 10-0200-0010-02
1993 20-0600-0020-06
1994 30-0200-0030-02
1995 23-0800-0023-08
Total 5015-8991-165916-105


  1. "Colm O'Rourke Happy 51st". The Hogan Stand. Lynn Publications. 13 September 1991. Retrieved 16 September 2006.
  2. Yearbook of St. Patrick's Classical School, 2013
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Meath Senior Football Captain
Succeeded by
Liam Hayes
Preceded by
Shea Fahy
Texaco Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by
Martin McHugh
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