No. 17 All-Star Posters
Since the 1960s there had been a tradition of annually selecting the best player in each position, in football and hurling, to create a special team of the year. Between 1963 and 1967 these players received what was known as the Cú Chulainn award. In 1971 these awards were formalised into the annual GAA All Star Awards.
In 2006 the Gaelic Players Association launched a parallel award scheme entitled the GPA Gaelic Team of the Year (often referred to as the GPA Awards). An annual award was also given by the GPA to the Footballer of the Year and the Hurler of the Year. The two awards were combined into the G.A.A. – G.P.A. Awards in 2011 and sponsored by Opel.
From the beginning the All-Star selections were featured on posters, which showed pictures of the recipients and the positions they held. They also had a sponsor. The awards were initially called the Carrolls All-Star, after their sponsorship by the cigarette company from Dundalk. They remained the sponsors until 1978 and the posters they produced set a very high standard. As well as the pictures of the stars, the posters included the citation that each player received at the presentation.
By the end of the seventies with the growth in awareness of health and safety, it began to dawn on the organisers that the promotion of a cigarette company did not fit very well with the aims of an athletic body. A new sponsor came on board in the Bank of Ireland in 1979. Initially they called their presentations the 9th and 10th All Stars and from 1981 onwards they were named after the year. The company remained as sponsors until 1994.
Powerscreen took over for two years in 1995 and 1996 and called the stars ‘The Chosen Ones.’ They were followed by Eircell, who were the sponsors for the next four years, 1997 to 2000 respectively. Vodafone became the next sponsor and they were to remain in position for ten years, 2001-2010.
As stated above the G.A.A. combined with the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) awards for the 2011 awards and Opel came on board as sponsors. They have been in place since then.
All the sponsors since Carrolls have continued with the idea of a poster to illustrate the awards. They have been of varying standard, none of them quite reached the standard of
the initial sponsor, but all of them including the pictures and vital information of the recipients. They provide a popular record of the greatest stars of hurling and football since 1971 and the complete set of posters are on display in Lár na Páirce.