P. J. Ryan

For the Tipperary hurler, see P. J. Ryan (Tipperary hurler).
P. J. Ryan
Personal information
Irish name P. S. Ó Riain
Sport Hurling
Position Goalkeeper
Born (1977-06-15) 15 June 1977
Johnstown, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Years Club
Club titles
Kilkenny titles 0
Years County Apps (scores)
1999–2012 Kilkenny 18 (0-00)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 4
All-Irelands 3
All Stars 1
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 13:45, 22 January 2012.

Patrick James "P. J." Ryan (born 15 June 1977) is an Irish hurler who played as a goalkeeper for the Kilkenny senior team.

Born in Johnstown, County Kilkenny, Ryan first excelled at hurling during his schooling at Coláiste Mhuire. He arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Kilkenny minor team, before later joining the under-21 side. He joined the senior panel during the 1999 championship. Ryan later became a regular member of the starting fifteen, and won three All-Ireland medals, four Leinster medals and two National League medals on the field of play. He was an All-Ireland runner-up on one occasion.

As a member of the Leinster inter-provincial team on a number of occasions, Ryan won two Railway Cup medals. At club level Ryan continues to play with Fenians.

Ryan's father, also P. J. Ryan, won three All-Ireland medals as reserve goalkeeper to Noel Skehan between 1974 and 1979.[1]

Throughout his career Ryan made 18 championship appearances. He announced his retirement from inter-county hurling on 18 January 2012.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Playing career


Ryan plays his club hurling with the Fenians club in Johnstown and enjoyed much success during his underage career. In 1995 he won a championship medal in the minor "B" grade following a narrow 1–14 to 1–13 defeat of John Locke's.

Two years later in 1997 Ryan was a key member of the club's under-21 team. He won a championship medal in the "B" grade once again, following a 1–11 to 1–2 trouncing of Piltown.

Minor and under-21

Ryan first played for Kilkenny in 1995 when he joined the minor side. He won his first Leinster medal that year following a 4–16 to 2–6 defeat of Offaly. The subsequent All-Ireland decider pitted Kilkenny against old rivals Cork, with Ryan lining out in goal. The game turned into a rout as Cork won easily by 2–10 to 1–2.[9]

In 1998 Ryan was a key member of the Kilkenny under-21 team. A 2–10 to 0–12 defeat of Dublin in the provincial decider gave him his sole Leinster medal in that grade.



In 1999 Ryan first linked up with the Kilkenny senior team. In the week leading up to the All-Ireland final with Cork, reserve goalkeeper Martin Carey broke his finger and had to withdraw.[10] Ryan was quickly drafted onto the panel, however, he remained on the bench for Cork's narrow 0–13 to 0–12 victory.[11]

Reserve goalkeeper

Ryan was off and on the panel over the next few years and remained as third-choice goalkeeper, before taking over as second to James McGarry in 2002. That year he was an unused substitute as Kilkenny made a clean sweep by claiming the National League, Leinster and All-Ireland titles.[12][13]

In 2003 Ryan won his first league medal on the field of play as Kilkenny came back from eight points down to secure a stunning 5–14 to 5–13 extra-time defeat of Tipperary.[14] On 7 June 2003 Ryan made his senior championship debut in a 3–16 to 0–10 Leinster semi-final defeat of Dublin.[15] He was dropped to the substitutes' bench for all subsequent games, as Kilkenny went on to retain the Leinster and All-Ireland crowns.[16][17]

Ryan remained as an unused substitute over the next three years, but collected another two league medals, two Leinster medals and an All-Ireland medal.[18][19][20][21]

First-choice goalkeeper

In 2007 Ryan took over as Kilkenny's first-choice goalkeeper. That year he won his first Leinster medal on the field of play as Kilkenny asserted their provincial dominance and defeated Wexford by 2–24 to 1–12.[22] On 2 September 2007 Kilkenny faced defeated Munster finalists and surprise All-Ireland semi-final winners Limerick in the championship decider. Kilkenny got off to a flying start with Eddie Brennan and Henry Shefflin scoring two goals within the first ten minutes to set the tone. Limerick launched a second-half comeback, however, "the Cats" were too powerful and cruised to a 2–19 to 1–15 victory.[23] It was Ryan's first All-Ireland medal on the field of play.

Kilkenny secured the Leinster crown again in 2008, with Ryan collecting a second successive winners' medal following a 5–21 to 0–17 drubbing of Wexford.[24] On 8 September 2008 Kilkenny faced Waterford in the All-Ireland decider for the first time in forty-five years. In a disappointingly one-sided final, Kilkenny produced a near perfect seventy minutes as Waterford endured a nightmare afternoon. A 23-point winning margin, 3–24 from play, only two wides in the entire match and eight scorers in all with Eddie Brennan and Henry Shefflin leading the way in a 3–30 to 1–13 victory.[25] It was Ryan's second All-Ireland medal.

Ryan collected a second league medal on the field in 2009, as Kilkenny beat Tipperary by 2–26 to 4–17 with a thrilling extra-time victory.[26] He later won a third successive Leinster medal as new challengers Dublin were bested by 2–18 to 0–18.[27] On 6 September Kilkenny were poised to become the second team ever in the history of hurling to win four successive All-Ireland championships when they faced Tipperary in the decider. For long periods Tipp looked the likely winners, however, late goals from Henry Shefflin and substitute Martin Comerford, together with a series of magnificent saves from Ryan, finally killed off their efforts to secure a 2–22 to 0–23 victory.[28] Ryan had collected his third All-Ireland medal while he was also named man of the match. He later collected a coveted All-Star.


In 2010 Kilkenny defeated Galway in an eagerly-anticipated but ultimately disappointing provincial decider. A 1–19 to 1–12 victory gave Ryan a fourth consecutive Leinster medal.[29] The drive for a fifth successive All-Ireland crown reached a head on 5 September 2010, when Kilkenny faced Tipperary in the All-Ireland decider. "The Cats" lost talisman Henry Shefflin due to injury, while Tipperary's Lar Corbett ran riot and scored a hat-trick of goals as Ryan's side fell to a 4–17 to 1–18 defeat.[30]

Ryan was dropped from the starting fifteen in 2011, however, he collected further Leinster and All-Ireland medals as a non-playing substitute as Kilkenny dominated the championship once again.[31][32]


In 2006 Walsh was goalkeeper on the Leinster team that faced Munster in the inter-provincial final. Richie Power top-scored with nine points as Leinster secured a 1–15 to 1–12 victory.[33] It was Ryan's first Railway Cup medal.

Leinster made it two-in-a-row in 2009, with Ryan collecting his second winner's medal as Leinster defeated Connacht by 3–18 to 1–17.[34]





  1. Kelly, Liam (1 October 2009). "Cats' stopper Ryan tries his hand with the big ball". Irish Independent. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  2. "Ryan hangs up his Kilkenny colours". RTÉ Sport. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  3. "Kilkenny goalkeeper Ryan retires". Breaking News. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  4. Knox, John (18 January 2012). "Now P.J. Ryan calls it a day". Kilkenny People. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  5. Matthews, Sam (20 January 2012). "PJ Ryan calls time on Cats career". Kilkenny Avertiser. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  6. "Ryan is latest Cat to retire". Hogan Stand. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  7. Knox, John (19 January 2012). "Goalkeeper Ryan joins Kilkenny exodus". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  8. "Goalkeeper Ryan ends Kilkenny career". GAA website. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  9. Murphy, Éamonn (1 July 2013). "Dwyer is nurturing love of the game in Ballincollig". Evening Echo. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  10. Foley, Cliona (4 May 2013). "Herity in battle to look after No 1 as poacher Murphy turns goalkeeper". Irish Independent. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  11. "All-Ireland Hurling Final: Cork 0–13 Kilkenny 0–12". Irish Examiner. 12 September 1999. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  12. "Kilkenny edge out Cork". BBC Sport. 5 May 2002. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  13. "Kilkenny 0–19 Wexford 0–17 – match report". Breaking News. 7 July 2002. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  14. "Stunning Kilkenny snatch and grab raid". Irish Independent. 6 May 2003. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  15. O'Flynn, Diarmuid (9 June 2003). "Class tells as Cats overpower brave Dubs". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  16. "Rampant Kilkenny retain Leinster crown". RTÉ Sport. 6 July 2003. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  17. O'Sullivan, Jim (15 September 2003). "Kilkenny stand firm under Cork onslaught". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  18. O'Sullivan, Jim (3 February 2005). "Reigning Cats fire warning". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  19. O'Sullivan, Jim (4 July 2005). "Kilkenny hold nerve and stumble over the line". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  20. O'Connell, Jerome (5 May 2006). "Shefflin goals shatter Limerick's title dream". Limerick Leader. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  21. O'Sullivan, Jim (4 September 2006). "A glorious 29th for Kilkenny". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  22. Canning, Ger (1 July 2007). "Result: Kilkenny 2–24 Wexford 1–12". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  23. O'Sullivan, Jim (3 September 2007). "Cats cruise to 30th title". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  24. O'Flynn, Donal (2 August 2008). "Wexford out to move on from little blip". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  25. O'Sullivan, Jim (4 September 2010). "Classic Final: 2008 – Kilkenny 3–30, Waterford 1–13". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  26. "Hogan goes extra yard of plucky Tipperary". Irish Independent. 4 May 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  27. O'Flynn, Diarmuid (6 July 2009). "Cats hold off Dublin's final charge". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  28. O'Flynn, Diarmuid (7 September 2009). "Where there's an iron will, there's a way". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  29. O'Flynn, Diarmuid (5 July 2010). "And so we still wait for that test...". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  30. O'Flynn, Diarmuid (6 September 2010). "Thunder and lightning final". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  31. "The Kilkenny 2011 Championship adventure". Irish Independent. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  32. O'Flynn, Diarmuid (5 September 2011). "The greatest of champions reclaim crown". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  33. "Result: Leinster 1–15 Munster 1–12". RTÉ Sport. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  34. "Leinster win 2009 Interprovincial hurling title". Breaking News. 14 March 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
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