Ulster University’s magnificent seven feature on GAA Higher Education Team of the Year

Fermanagh, Derry, Tyrone, Monaghan and Down players make Rising Stars line-up

Ulster University players with Sigerson Cup
The Ulster University panel celebrate with the Sigerson Cup after their final win over UCD in Tralee Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile (Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)

Seven Ulster University players have won places on the Electric Ireland Higher Education Team of the Year. UU took home the Sigerson Cup title for the first time since 2008 after defeating UCD in the final at Austin Stack Park, Tralee.

The northern university got off to the flying start in that final, scoring three goals to set up a staggering 11-point lead over their Dublin opponents. However, UCD continued to battle until the final whistle sounded, closing the deficit to six points at full-time. A man of the match performance from Darragh Canavan, with significant contributions from brother Ruairí, ultimately sealed the win for the University who were celebrating 50 years of Gaelic Games this year.

That has earned the 2024 Sigerson Cup champions seven spots on the team with Fermanagh, Derry, Tyrone and Down all represented among the UU contingent on the team while David Garland of Monaghan and UCD also makes the list.

Beaten finalists UCD have five representatives in total on the team. Beaten semi-finalists, University of Limerick (UL) feature twice on the team while Maynooth University have a single player included.

GAA President Jaralth Burns, himself a Sigerson Cup winner with St Mary’s in 1989, said: “I would like to congratulate each of the players and their institutions on their achievements throughout this season’s Championship and for being named on the Football Team of the Year.

“The determination and skill on display in this year’s Electric Ireland Higher Education GAA Championships has been immensely enjoyable to watch, and the players named here serve as fantastic representatives of their third level institutions. We look forward to celebrating their achievements at a formal ceremony later in the year.”

Sarah Sharkey, Group Sponsorship & PR Manager, Electric Ireland, commented: “We are delighted to announce the 2024 Electric Ireland GAA Higher Education Rising Stars Football Team of the Year and are looking forward to being able to recognise these players’ outstanding performances at the annual Electric Ireland Higher Education GAA Rising Stars Awards Ceremony.

“Our ongoing commitment to these Championships has been a journey of excitement and inspiration, fuelled by the players whose dynamic performances have captivated audiences all season long.”

The Electric Ireland Higher Education GAA Rising Star Hurling and Football Player of the Year will be announced at the Higher Education Awards Ceremony on April 1

2024 Electric Ireland GAA Higher Education Rising Stars Football Team of the Year

1. Conor Flaherty (UL, Claregalway & Galway)

2. Mark Dempsey (UL, Moorefield & Kildare)

3. Ryan Magill (UU, Burren & Down)

4. Josh Largo Ellis (UU, Irvinestown & Fermanagh)

5. Donncha Gilmore (UCD, Steelstown & Derry)

6. Ronan Mc Caffrey (UU, Teemore Shamrocks & Fermanagh)

7. Ben Mc Carron (UU, Steelstown & Derry)

8. Jonathan Lynam (UCD, The Downs & Westmeath)

9. Oisín McCann (UU, Killyclogher & Tyrone)

10. Eoghan Frayne (Maynooth, Summerhill & Meath)

11. Dáire Cregg (UCD, Boyle & Roscommon)

12. Aaron Lynch (UCD, Trim & Meath)

13. David Garland (UCD, Donaghmoyne & Monaghan)

14. Niall Loughlin (UU, Greenlough & Derry)

15. Darragh Canavan (UU, Errigal Ciarán & Tyrone)