Nickey Brennan

Nickey Brennan
Personal information
Irish name Nioclás Ó Braonáin
Sport Hurling
Position Right wing-back
Born (1953-12-03) 3 December 1953
Conahy, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Occupation Retired Glanbia purchasing manager
Years Club
Conahy Shamrocks
Club titles
Kilkenny titles 0
Years County Apps (scores)
1974–1985 Kilkenny 14 (0-00)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 3
All-Irelands 2
All Stars 0
Brennan (second from left) cuts the ribbon at the official re-opening of Páirc Esler in Newry

Nicholas "Nickey" Brennan (born 3 December 1953) is an Irish former hurler, manager and Gaelic games administrator. He played as a right wing-back for the Kilkenny senior team.[1] More recently, he served as the 35th President of the Gaelic Athletic Association.

Brennan joined the team during the 1974 championship and was a regular member of the starting fifteen until his retirement after the 1985 championship. During that time he won two All-Ireland medals, three Leinster medals and two National Hurling League medals.

At club level Brennan enjoyed a lengthy career with Conahy Shamrocks.

In retirement from playing Brennan became involved in team management and coaching. He was manager of the Kilkenny senior team, having served as a selector for the previous four years. He also managed the county football team, and the county under-21 hurling team.

Brennan was also a Gaelic games administrator with the Kilkenny County Board and the Leinster Council before assuming the office of President of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 2006.[2][3]

His brothers, Kirean and Canice, were also All-Ireland medalists with Kilkenny.

Playing career


Brennan, along with his brother, Kieran, played club hurling and football with his local club Conahy Shamrocks. He was a key part of the team that won both junior and intermediate titles in 1976 and 1977.


Brennan first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Kilkenny minor hurling team. In 1971 he was at corner-back as the team secured a place in the provincial decider. A huge 7–18 to 3–5 trouncing of Wexford have Brennan a Leinster medal. The subsequent All-Ireland decider saw reigning champions and three-in-a-row hopefuls Cork providing the opposition. A narrow 2–11 to 1–11 defeat was Kilkenny's lot on that occasion.

By 1974 Brennan had joined the Kilkenny under-21 team and was in his final year in the grade. A 3–8 to 1–5 defeat of reigning champions Kilkenny secured a Leinster medal for Brennan. The subsequent All-Ireland decider pitted Kilkenny against Waterford, who were making their first appearance in the final. A narrow 3–8 to 3–7 victory gave Brennan a coveted All-Ireland medal.[4]

That same year Brennan joined the Kilkenny senior team. He came on as a substitute in the provincial decider as Kilkenny narrowly defeated Wexford by 6–13 to 2–24. It was his first Leinster medal. Brennan was an unused substitute for Kilkenny's subsequent All-Ireland defeat of Limerick.

In 1975 Brennan was an unused substitute once again as Kilkenny retained their Leinster and All-Ireland titles.

Brennan was dropped from the panel for a number of seasons but returned to the starting fifteen in 1979. A 2–21 to 2–17 defeat of Wexford gave him a second Leinster medal on the field of play. Galway provided the opposition in the subsequent All-Ireland decider and took a two-point lead twelve minuted into the second half, however, they failed to score again. Two long-range goals from Liam "Chunky" O'Brien and Mick "Cloney" Brennan gave Kilkenny a 2–12 to 1–8 victory. It was Brennan's first All-Ireland medal on the field of play.

Kilkenny took a back seat to Offaly over the next few years, however, the team bounced back in 1982. A 2–14 to 1–11 defeat of Wexford in the decider gave Brennan a first National Hurling League medal. The subsequent championship campaign saw Kilkenny reach the decider once again. A 1–11 to 0–12 defeat of Offaly gave Brennan a third Leinster medal. The subsequent All-Ireland final saw the Cats face their old rivals from Cork. In spite of being regarded as underdogs, Christy Heffernan's two goals in a forty-second spell and a third by Ger Fennelly powered Kilkenny to a 3–18 to 1–15 victory, a game in which Brennan held Cork's famed captain Jimmy Barry-Murphy scoreless for 70 minutes. It was Brennan's second All-Ireland medal on the field of play.

Kilkenny retained their National League title in 1982 following a 2–14 to 2–12 defeat of Limerick. It was Brennan's second winners' medal in the secondary competition. In spite of this he was later dropped from the starting fifteen and was an unused substitute as Kilkenny retained their Leinster and All-Ireland crowns. Brennan retired from inter-county hurling shortly after.

Post-playing career

In retirement from hurling Brennan became involved in the administration of the Gaelic Athletic Association. In 1990 Brennan managed the Kilkenny Under 21 hurlers to All-Ireland success over Tipperary. In 1991 he commenced a four-year term as Chairman of the Kilkenny County Board. In 1995 he succeeded Ollie Walsh as manager of the Kilkenny senior hurling team. Brennan enjoyed mixed success in this position. He guided his native-county to a Leinster final in 1997, however, his team was defeated by Wexford. His term as manager came to end when Kilkenny were defeated by the eventual All-Ireland champions, Clare, in the All-Ireland semi-final. Brennan also served as manager of Kilkenny's senior football team during the eighties.

Brennan continued an involvement in the administration side of the GAA during the nineties and was elected to the position of Chairman of the Leinster Council. It was during this incumbency in this post that Brennan launched his bid to become President of the GAA. In April 2005 he defeated his Munster Council counterpart, Christy Cooney, and was duly elected President. He took up this position in 2006.

Brennan travelled 160,000 miles in Ireland alone during his three years as President, and visited Great Britain, Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East on several occasions, meeting dignitaries such as New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg along the way.[5] His term of office ended in 2009, when he was succeeded by Christy Cooney, who had won the subsequent election.


  1. "Nickey Brennan". Irish Independent. 17 April 2005. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  2. Keyes, Colm (17 April 2005). "President-elect Brennan promises to proceed with 'considerable caution'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 18 April 2005.
  3. "Brennan defends college eligibility rule". Hogan Stand. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  4. "Tony was one of natures true gentlemen". Deise Abú website. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  5. "From Slieverue to Sydney and all places in between, the President probably got there". Kilkenny People. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ollie Walsh
Kilkenny Senior Hurling Manager
Succeeded by
Kevin Fennelly
Preceded by
Paddy Buggy
Chairman of the Kilkenny County Board
Succeeded by
John Healy
Preceded by
Seán Kelly
President of the Gaelic Athletic Association
Succeeded by
Christy Cooney
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.