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15 Of The Greatest Farmers In Irish Sports History

15 Of The Greatest Farmers In Irish Sports History
By Mark Farrelly Updated

We love our sports stars in Ireland and we seem to love them even more if they enjoy a spot of farming on the side. So today we're celebrating the great farmers in Irish sport. 15 of them in fact. Let us know of anyone else who deserves a mention.

Sean O'Brien

Let's get the obvious one out of the way. Sean O'Brien is such a renowned farmer that he has even started a side career with us as a farming quiz presenter.

The Tullow Tank has been banned from the farm until the World Cup is over though.

Ciaran Lenehan

He has taken a break from the intercounty scene to focus on his PhD with UCD and Tegasc. The Meath footballer writes for the Farmers Journal as well. Sure he's flat out.


John Hayes

That nickname 'The Bull' isn't just for decoration you know. The great John Hayes loves his farming. So much so that there are plenty of tales about him disappearing from post-victory team celebrations to catch up on the work at home.

Timmy McCarthy

Five Munster titles, three All Ireland titles and two Cork club titles for the great Timmy McCarthy. All achieved while holding down the farm at home.



Darren Hughes

When he's not thundering up and down the pitch for Monaghan, Darren Hughes is busy with his days as a dairy farmer. The Scotstown man wouldn't have it as handy as the Munster lads, with wet land and whatnot, but this year the weather took up early enough for him to get the cows out in February.



Willie John McBride

The legendary Willie John McBride sadly lost his father when he was just four years old, meaning that the family farm was left to be tended to by himself, his mother , two brothers and sister.

A mountain of a man, built at home and celebrated everywhere.



TJ Reid

Kilkenny's TJ Reid describes himself on Twitter as a 'Sales rep for connolly red mills feeds, farmer, hurler, footballer.' He must be the busiest man in Ireland. You know a man means business when his cover photo is a bullock.



And for those of you who are worried, there's no need to be. TJ got the silage in good and early this year.

John Heslin

Not just a farmer but a farming nerd. Like his aforementioned comrade from Westmeath's neighbouring county, Heslin is a PhD student with UCD and Teagasc. Indeed some tweets may suggest that might by eyeing Lenehan's mantle as funniest farmer on Twitter.

John Doyle

An eight time All-Ireland winner with Tipperary in the the 1950s and 60s, John Doyle may not have been the only farmer playing GAA at the time but was certainly one of the most decorated.

John left school at 15 to help his father full time on the farm (his mother died six weeks after he was born) and farm the land his entire life. He even became a member of the Seanad once, after being elected by the Agricultural Panel.

Rory Best

Another Irish rugby player with a background in farming, the Ulsterman got seriously involved in his family back in 2009 when he injured his neck. He told Newstalk during an interview:

Farming is a nice release. When I come home for training I can go out and look around at the cattle, do bits and pieces and takes my mind off rugby for a bit which has kept me mentally fresher when I'm playing.


John Power

The former Kilkenny hurling is currently in the process of upping his milk production to two million litres, thanks to over 400 cows. That's quite a growth from the 80,000 gallon quota Power had back during his playing days in 1989.

Briege Corkery

16 All-Irelands and 444 cows;  Briege Corkery in numbers. The Cork GAA star legend loves a bit of farming and it seems some of her teammates are catching the bug too.

Sean Kelly

One of Ireland's greatest every cyclists, Sean Kelly had to leave school at the age of 13 to go help on the farm after his father suffered a stomach ulcer. Throughout his career he would continue to dip his toes in and out of farming when he wasn't busy cycling.

The Kearney brothers

Two for the price of one. When Rob and Dave aren't busy playing rugby or being devilishly handsome, they're working at home on their family's dairy farm. Just when you thought they couldn't be any more perfect.


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