Ken McGrath

Ken McGrath
Personal information
Irish name Cionnaith Mac Craith
Sport Hurling
Position Centre Back
Born (1978-02-20) 20 February 1978
Waterford, Ireland
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Nickname Sports Shop Owner
Occupation Mac/God
Years Club
1995– Mount Sion
Club titles
Waterford titles 6
Munster titles 1
Years County Apps (scores)
1996–2011 Waterford 51 (1–93)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 4
All Stars 3

Ken McGrath (born 20 February 1978) is an Irish hurler and current hurling selector who played as a centre-back for the Waterford senior team. He joined the team in 1996 and was a regular member of the starting fifteen until his retirement in 2011.[1]

Son of former hurler Pat and older brother of former player Eoin, McGrath was a stalwart on the Waterford team for more than a decade. He has won four Munster winners' medals, one National League winners' medal and three All-Star awards. He ended up as an All-Ireland runner-up on one occasion.

At club level McGrath is a Munster medalist with Mount Sion. In addition to this he has also won six county club championship medals.

McGrath is currently a selector with the Waterford senior hurling management team.[2]

Playing career


McGrath plays his club hurling with the Mount Sion club in Waterford city and has enjoyed much success.

In 1998 McGrath won his first county club championship medal following a 3–19 to 0–10 trouncing of Ballyduff Upper.[3]

After surrendering their title to Ballygunner in 1999, Mount Sion were back the following year to exact revenge. A 1–20 to 0–9 defeat of Ballygunner gave McGrath a second county championship medal.[4]

Mount Sion surrendered their club title in 2001, however, McGrath's side were back in the final again in 2002. A 1–19 to 2–14 defeat of Ballygunner secured the championship once again.[5] It was the first of three county final victories in-a-row over Ballygunner.[6][7]

In 2002 McGrath won a Munster club medal as Mount Sion defeated Sixmilebridge to take the title.[8] The club was defeated in the subsequent All-Ireland semi-final.

Four club titles in-a-row proved beyond Mount Sion, however, the club bounced back in 2006 with McGrath winning a sixth county championship medal following a seven-point defeat of Ballygunner.[9]


McGrath first came to prominence on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen as a member of the Waterford minor hurling team. He later played with the under-21 county side, however, he enjoyed little success in these grades.

By 1996 McGrath had joined the Waterford senior team and made his debut in that year's championship.

In 1998 McGrath played in his first Munster final in the senior grade. Waterford held All-Ireland champions Clare to a draw in the Munster final, however, the Decies lost the replay. McGrath's side later faced Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final in what would be the county's first appearance in Croke Park since 1963. Kilkenny won by a single point.

Four years later in 2002 McGrath claimed his first Munster winners' medal as Waterford defeated Tipperary by 2–23 to 3–12 to claim the provincial crown for the first time in thirty-nine years.[10]

After surrendering the Munster title to Cork in 2003, McGrath's side were back in the provincial showpiece for a third successive year in 2004. In one of the greatest games of all-time Waterford defeated Cork in a Munster final for the first time in forty-five years to take the title by 3–16 to 1–21.

In 2007 McGrath added a National Hurling League medal to his collection when Waterford defeated Kilkenny by 0–20 to 0–18 in the final.[11] He later claimed a third Munster winners' medal as Waterford defeated Limerick by 3–17 to 1–14 in the provincial decider.[12] While Waterford were viewed as possibly going on and winning the All-Ireland title for the first time in almost half a century, Limerick ambushed McGrath's side in the All-Ireland semi-final.

2008 began poorly for Waterford as the team lost their opening game to Clare as well as their manager Justin McCarthy. In spite of this poor start McGrath's side reached the All-Ireland final for the first time in forty-five years. Kilkenny provided the opposition and went on to defeat Waterford by 3–30 to 1–13 to claim a third All-Ireland title in-a-row.[13]

McGrath lined out in another Munster final in 2010 with Cork providing the opposition. A 2–15 apiece draw was the result on that occasion, however, Waterford went on to win the replay after an extra-time goal by Dan Shanahan. It was a fourth Munster winners' medal for McGrath, a record that he shares with five other Waterford players.

McGrath returned to inter-county hurling for the National League in 2011, however, midway through that competition he retired from the Waterford panel due to injury.


McGrath was also a regular on the Munster team at various times between 1997 and 2009. He won two Railway Cup medals, in 1997 and 2001.[14]


McGrath has some coaching experience with various Mount Sion underage teams. In 2012 he was announced as a replacement for Nicky Cashin as a Waterford selector under Michael Ryan. He resigned as selector in 2013 when Ryan stepped down.



Mount Sion



  1. "McGrath retires from inter-county hurling". RTÉ Sport. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  2. "Ken McGrath is appointed Waterford selector". RTÉ Sport. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  3. Murphy, John (12 October 1998). "Mount Sion master Ballyduff". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  4. Dickinson, Matt (4 September 2000). "Browne leads his Mount back to top". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  5. Hickey, Paddy (7 October 2000). "McGrath masters lead Sion to promised land". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  6. "McGrath goal sets a record". Hogan Stand website. 9 November 2003. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  7. Scanlan, Shane (11 October 2004). "Marvellous Mount's three on the bounce a Sion of their recent times". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  8. "Mount Sion are champs of Munster". Hogan Stand website. 2 December 2002. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  9. Flanagan, Adrian (23 October 2006). "McGraths fire Sion to victory over Gunners". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  10. Breheny, Martin (1 July 2002). "Waterford wonders whip Tipp with awesome display". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  11. Breheny, Martin (4 May 2007). "Waterford end 44-year faminewith National League title". Munster Express. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  12. Breheny, Martin (9 July 2007). "Dynamic Dan adds some extra dash for the Déise". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  13. "RTÉ Sport: Kilkenny 3–30 Waterford 1–13". RTÉ Sport. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  14. "Railway Cup Hurling". Munster GAA website. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Paul Flynn
Waterford Senior Hurling Captain
Succeeded by
Fergal Hartley
Preceded by
Tony Browne
Waterford Senior Hurling Captain
Succeeded by
Eoin Kelly
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