Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball

REVEALED: The Kildare sporting Mount Rushmore

We had another Mount Rushmore etched into the history books this morning, as Kildare's picks were...

REVEALED: The Kildare sporting...

REVEALED: The Kildare sporting Mount Rushmore

We had another Mount Rushmore etched into the history books this morning, as Kildare's picks were made, after much debate and deliberation.

Athy's Ger Gilroy was joined by Celbridge man Joe Molloy to mark down the final four, with Willie McCreery also taking a call to give his two cents worth.

In the end some big names were omitted - including Johnny Doyle, Dermot Weld, and Jamie Heaslip - but here were the final four picks on the Kildare Mount Rushmore!


SOCCER - Emma Byrne

Well over 100 caps for her country, a host of trophies with Arsenal, and a key role in earning better working conditions for the Irish Women's team were all enough for Ger to give the goalkeeper her usual number one spot.

"Leader of the strike, Champions League winner in 2007, 11 top-tier titles, over 140 caps for her country, played at the top-tier for basically 20 seasons, and is undoubtedly the highest achieving in medal terms of any of the sportspeople that Kildare has ever produced.

"I also feel like, in 10 years' time when we drive past the mountain and it's four lads, aren't people going to be going 'It's a bit weird isn't it?'

"When she's going out the door she's thanking the FAI and SIPTU because she knows she's left an indelible mark on the future of sport for Irish women by giving them equality."

10 April 2017; Captain of the Republic of Ireland Emma Byrne leads out the team for the start of the Women's International Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Slovakia at Tallaght Stadium in Tallaght, Co. Dublin. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile



There was zero debate around this one, and Ger said the Kill native, who retired last year after winning the Punchestown Gold Cup on Kemboy, was a true Lilywhite legend.

"An absolutely sensational career. When you go back at the end of his career and realise he was never the Sports Personality of the Year you kind of think something weird has happened in Irish sport where we don't fully understand the power that jockeys have to bring people together.

"The sport didn't have a break-out star that had appeal, and then Ruby arrived. This kind of perfect mix of Roy Keane and Jim Gavin. There's a case for Ruby being one of the best Irish sportspeople of his generation certainly."

1 May 2019; Ruby Walsh celebrates on Kemboy after winning The Coral Punchestown Gold Cup during the Punchestown Festival Gold Cup Day at Punchestown Racecourse in Naas, Kildare. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile



Ger went with Earley, and Joe said he was certainly reticent to take him down off the mountain.

"Dermot Earley is just beloved in Kildare, you can't overstate just how much that family is beloved in Kildare.

"He made his debut in 1997, he played right through until 2013, he's a two-time All Star, his career was interrupted by a battle with cancer. The whole county was behind him, I remember that time, I remember people asking 'How's Dermot?'

"He came back, he seemed to have a period where he kept getting injured, he never went away, and then he had this incredible Indian summer under Kieran McGeeney, where you would say he really showed how class he was.

"He was just phenomenal for a couple of years there... and I think more than anything, he carried himself with such distinction, he was class personified."

5 August 2012; Dermot Earley, Kildare, comes off with an injury during the game. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Cork v Kildare, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE



Joe decided to replace horse trainer Dermot Weld from Ger's picks with Glenn Ryan, after Willie McCreery made an impassioned case for the former Kildare captain's inclusion.

"You could stop Johnny Doyle or Dermot Earley, it would take two men to stop Glenn Ryan. Glenn Ryan was also a leader for us, he was so influential for our team in 1998.

"The only football lad I'd put on [the mountain] in the modern era is Glenn Ryan. Johnny Doyle wouldn't lace his boots, even if they had velcro!"

27 September 1998; Glenn Ryan of Kildare in action against Michael Donnellan of Galway during the All-Ireland Senior Football Final match between Galway and Kildare at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile


Missed any of our Mount Rushmore county-by-county series? Get all episodes so far here! 

Here is Nathan Murphy's selection of Mayo's Mount Rushmore from Episode One!

Here is Colm Boohig's selection of Cork's Mount Rushmore from Episode Two!

Here is Will O'Callaghan and Paul Rouse's selection of Offaly's Mount Rushmore from Episode Three!

Here is Shane Hannon and Gráinne McElwain's selection of Monaghan's Mount Rushmore from Episode Four!

Here is Diarmuid Lyng and Liam Griffin's selection of Wexford's Mount Rushmore from Episode Five!

Here is Neil Treacy and Jack Anderson's selection of Limerick's Mount Rushmore from Episode Six!

Here is Enda Coll and Kieran Cunningham's selection of Donegal's Mount Rushmore from Episode Seven!

Here is Máire-Treasa Nic-Cheallaigh and Michael Lyster's selection of Galway's Mount Rushmore from Episode Eight!

Here is Adrian Barry and Conor Moore's selection of Westmeath's Mount Rushmore from Episode Nine!

Here is Ronan Mullen and Dan McDonnell's selection of Louth's Mount Rushmore from Episode Ten!

Here is Alan Quinlan and Michael Quinlivan's selection of Tipperary's Mount Rushmore from Episode Eleven!

Here is Tommy Rooney and Hector Ó'hEochagáin's selection of Meath's Mount Rushmore from Episode Twelve!

Here is Conor Deegan and Donal O'Neill's selection of Down's Mount Rushmore from Episode Thirteen!

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Read more about

Dermot Earley Dermot Weld Emma Byrne GAA Ger Gilroy Glenn Ryan Joe Molloy John Doyle Kildare Kkildare GAA Mount Rushmore Ruby Walsh Rushmore Soccer Willie Mccreery