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2024 Hurling Hall of Fame Inductee

June 20th, 2024

When Leinster Hurling Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Carew made his inter-county debut on Sunday, October 24, 1965 in the opening round of the 1965-’66 NHL at St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge the Coill Dubh clubman, selected at right half forward, had a familiar figure alongside. His brother Seamus. Only Seamus, that year a Glenealy clubman, was playing right half back for Wicklow!

Tommy won the bragging rights that day, the home side winning by a point with the new kid on the block opening his inter-county scoring account with a single white flag. A decade and a half later, on July 6, 1980, here in Croke Park, Tommy Carew enjoyed a victorious inter-county swansong, scoring 1-2 from full-forward as Kildare beat London in the All-Ireland ‘B’ SHC final.

It was Tommy’s 83 competitive appearance for Kildare’s flagship hurlers – 32 championship, 49 league, 2 cup – in the course of which he racked up, goals and points combined, a points total of 210, the figure equally distributed, the 35 goals (105 points) matching the 105 white flags! During his long serving lily-white hurling career Tommy Carew won four Celtic Crosses, an All-Ireland Junior HC medal in ’66, an All-Ireland Intermediate HC medal in 1969 and two All-Ireland ‘B’ SHC medals (1974 and 1980). Tommy also won a NHL Division 2 medal in 1968-69  scoring 2-3 v Westmeath in the final in Croke Park. In that same season he scored 1-9 v Wicklow in the Leinster IHC final in Croke Park and a brace of invaluable points in the famous All-Ireland Intermediate final victory over Cork in Thurles, a victory that secured Kildare senior status.

Not long senior Kildare qualified for the 1970-71 NHL quarter-final where the opposition was provided by Tipperary who the following September would lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup. The lily-whites put up a very respectable performance in that Portlaoise quarter-final, scoring 3-10 (to Tipperary’s 5-16), Tommy lining out at mid-field where again he had a familiar figure alongside. His brother Tony. A rare brothers-in-arms mid-field partnership.

Kildare had beaten Waterford in Walsh Park, Waterford earlier in that league campaign, Tommy locating the net and the Leinster men again met Tipperary in the NHL quarter-finals of 1972-73 (in Newbridge) and 1973-74 (in Thurles when just six points separated the sides) Carew now at centre half forward. Indeed he played on every line for the Kildare hurlers, bar goalkeeper, his siting at right full back for a league game v Westmeath in 1965-76 completing the set.

In 1976 Kildare shocked Dublin in the Leinster SHC in Aughrim, mid-fielder Tommy chipping in with 0-2 and in the subsequent semi-final in Geraldine Park, Athy the home county rattled Wexford, the eventual All-Ireland finalists, unlucky to lose 2-19 to 2-15, Tommy a shining light in the middle of the park.

Tommy, with brother Tony and Seamus, were stars of the Coill Dubh team that won the 1961 Kildare U-15 HC and in 1968 many of that juvenile team helped Coill Dubh win the Kildare JHC and gain senior status. Senior success, though, was slow in coming. Very slow. All of 19 years. But in 1987 Coill Dubh with Tommy and Tony leading figures, won the Kildare SHC for the first time. Tommy (and Tony) added two more SHC medals in 1990 and 1993. And when Coill Dubh played the SHC final in 1995, the club’s second team won the curtain-rasising Intermediate final, their star … ageless veteran Tommy Carew.

Tommy, of course, was also a footballer of renown, winner of an All-Ireland U-21 FC medal in 1965 while kicking with the Kildare seniors for many years, playing in a couple of Leinster SFC finals while later serving as a selector during the Mick O’Dwyer era. Yes indeed, a wonderful servant of Kildare and the GAA as a whole.

Carlow GAA
Dublin GAA
Kildare GAA
Kilkenny GAA
Laois GAA
Longford GAA
Louth GAA
Meath GAA
Offaly GAA
Westmeath GAA
Wexford GAA
Wicklow GAA