The 2012 All-Ireland champions Donegal lead the way with eight awards on this year’s GAA GPA All-Stars awards, sponsored by Opel.

The county’s outstanding campaign sees them represented in every line of the field.

Beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo have been awarded four and there are also positions for Cork (2), and Dublin (1).

There are 10 first time winners in this year’s selection as Paul Durcan, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Frank McGlynn, Neil Gallagher, Mark McHugh, Michael Murphy, Colm McFadden and Colm O’Neill are all included.

Donegal’s haul sees them beat their previous best of seven back in 1992 when the father and uncle of Mark McHugh, Martin and James, were both selected.

The McHugh father and son combination sees the family join an illustrious band of father/son recipients which includes Liam/Kevin O’Neill, Pat/Paddy Reynolds, Dermot/Dermot Earley, Frank/Brian McGuigan, Bernard/Alan and Bernard Brogan, Tim/Tadhg Kennelly.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill lauded the efforts of those who made the final cut and congratulated them on the achievement.

He said: “After the honor of winning an All-Ireland medal I know how much store our players place on winning these awards. They acknowledge individual excellence and are accolades that are cherished long after playing days end.

“I heartily congratulate those who have made the selection and I hope it inspires them to challenge for future honors both as individuals but also as team players.

“A special word of thanks is also due to Dessie Farrell and the GPA as this joint scheme in its second year continues to go from strength to strength.

“Thanks also to Opel and their Ireland MD Dave Sheeran and our selection panels which is comprised of journalists.”

GPA Chief Executive Officer Dessie Farrell added: “Congratulations to the 15 footballers chosen on this year’s GAA GPA All-Star team sponsored by Opel.

“While players understand the importance of the collective effort of a team it is nonetheless a very prestigious honor for the individual footballer to be recognised for his consistent contribution to that effort during the season. Unsurprisingly the selection is dominated by Donegal after their extraordinary year which yielded the county’s second All-Ireland in most impressive fashion.

“I’d like to thank our sponsors Opel and in particular MD of Opel Ireland, Dave Sheeran, for his generous support of the awards scheme. Thanks also to Liam Ó Néill, Páraic Duffy and the GAA for their efforts in ensuring the continued success of the GAA GPA All-Stars.

“Also thanks to the committee of journalists for carrying out the difficult work of selecting the 2012 Football Team and for putting forward the nominees for the Player of the Year awards which will be chosen by the players and announced on tomorrow night’s (Friday) live broadcast on RTÉ television.”

Dave Sheeran MD Opel Ireland said: “We in Opel are very proud of our association with Gaelic games and we are absolutely delighted to honour the 2012 GAA GPA All-Star Football All-Stars, sponsored by Opel.

“Congratulations to all 15 footballers on their outstanding performances during the season and for winning this highly valued accolade. We look forward to meeting the team and announcing the All-Star Footballer of the Year at the Awards Gala Night in the Convention Centre Dublin, tomorrow night (Friday).”

2012 GAA GPA Football All-Stars sponsored by Opel


1. Paul Durcan (Donegal)

Full back line

2. Neil McGee (Donegal)
3. Ger Cafferkey (Mayo)
4. Keith Higgins (Mayo)

Half back line

5. Lee Keegan (Mayo)
6. Karl Lacey (Donegal)
7. Frank McGlynn (Donegal)


8. Neil Gallagher (Donegal)
9. Aidan Walsh (Cork)

Half forward line

10. Paul Flynn (Dublin)
11. Alan Dillon (Mayo)
12. Mark McHugh (Donegal)

Full forward line

13. Colm O'Neill (Cork)
14. Michael Murphy (Donegal)
15. Colm McFadden (Donegal)

Michael Murphy, Donegal, in action against Donal Vaughan, Mayo, during the GAA Football All-Ireland FinalGAP