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20 years ago today the Wexford hurlers won the All-Ireland... but where are they now?

They were dancing at the crossroads.

Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

THEY WERE DANCING at the crossroads back in 1996, those heroes in purple and gold who stormed to a memorable All-Ireland senior hurling championship triumph.

For the first time in 28 years, the Slaneysiders lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup with a hard-fought victory over Limerick.

But what became of the 15 men who started, three subs that came on and the management team led by Liam Griffin who steered Wexford to a 1-13 to 0-14 victory on 1 September?

Wexford

1. Damien Fitzhenry (Duffry Rovers)

Fitzhenry remained a key member of the Wexford panel until announcing his retirement in February 2010.

Renowned as one of the finest goalkeepers in the history of the game, Fitzhenry is now involved in a successful fruit and veg business with his father-in-law.

Fitzhenry has also been involved with Liam Dunne’s Wexford management team in recent years as goalkeeping coach and selector.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

2. Colm Kehoe (HWH Bunclody)

Right corner back on the Wexford team of 1996, Kehoe is still involved in the family’s building business.

He lined out as a 38-year-old as recently as 2012 in the county intermediate hurling championship final, when HWH Bunclody lost out to Oylegate-Glenbrien after a replay.

A tenacious and tough corner back, Kehoe was one of the stand-out Wexford players against Limerick 20 years ago.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

3. Ger Cushe (Naomh Eanna)

Following his retirement in 1999, Cushe became a selector with the Wexford team, before stepping down from that role after two years in 2002.

A former milkman, Cushe is now working in the oil business and he returned as a selector alongside current boss Liam Dunne in more recent times.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

4. John O’Connor (St Martin’s)

A production manager at Wexford Creamery now, O’Connor was a selector with JJ Doyle’s county U21 team this year.

O’Connor has also been involved for a number of years at various grades with his club St Martin’s, and is a brother of George, who lined out at midfield in the 1996 final.

Source: Matt Browne/INPHO

5. Rod Guiney (Rathnure)

Working in finance, flame-haired Guiney is twin brother of Dave, who also won an All-Ireland medal in 1996.

Rod is uncle of current Wexford player Jack, who opted out of the panel this year.

The brothers’ father was also named Jack, a Kerry native who also played rugby for Ireland and who famously turned his back on the British flag during the anthem at a game in Ravenill in the 1940s.

Source: © Matt Browne/INPHO

6. Liam Dunne (Oulart-The-Ballagh)

Man-of-the-match in the 1996 final, current Wexford manager Dunne is a sales representative with Stafford Fuels, and also works on the road under the Stafford Group for Campus Oil.

Centre back on the 1996 team, Dunne was involved in a controversial incident during the game with Gary Kirby, when the Limerick man was left with a broken finger following an aerial contest.

In 2004, Dunne released his critically-acclaimed life story ‘I Crossed the Line’, which was written with Damian Lawlor.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

9. Larry O’Gorman (Faythe Harriers)

Now a stay at home Dad, and currently on the hunt for employment, O’Gorman was involved with the Wexford U14s defeated by Cork in the Tony Forristal tournament last weekend.

O’Gorman is also involved with the Faythe Harriers minor hurling team as a trainer/selector.

His Wexford senior career lasted until he was 36 years of age and he’s still hurling at junior level with his club into his 40s.

Source: Matt Browne/INPHO

8. Adrian Fenlon (Rapparees)

Fenlon is Business Unit Manager at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

A graduate from the Smurfit Business school, Fenlon was renowned for his sideline cuts and is still playing junior club hurling with his club Rapparees.

Fenlon announced his retirement from inter-county hurling in 2006.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

17. George O’Connor (St Martin’s)

O’Connor was a late call-up to the Wexford team for the Limerick final, after Sean Flood was ruled out with a leg fracture sustained in the semi-final victory over Galway.

Flood stood in for the pre-match photograph but O’Connor lined out at midfield, setting the tone early on when laying down a marker in an early shemozzle.

O’Connor is now employed as a provincial hurling administrator with the Leinster Council.

Source: Tom HonanInpho

10. Rory McCarthy (St Martin’s)

A school-teacher at Gorey Community School, McCarthy was known as ‘baby Rory’ in the Wexford set-up, due to his fondness for sleep.

Now living in the Barntown parish in Wexford, McCarthy is involved in underage coaching with former teammates Tom Dempsey and Larry Murphy.

McCarthy was still hurling at junior level with St Martin’s until very recently.

Source: Matt Browne/INPHO

11. Martin Storey (Oulart-The-Ballagh)

At 51 years of age, Storey is still going strong at junior club level with Oulart-The-Ballagh.

A psychiatric nurse by profession, Storey is also a former county senior club winning manager with Oulart.

Storey recently stepped down as Wicklow senior hurling manager after one season at the helm and he had the privilege of lifting the Liam MacCarthy Cup as captain in 1996.

Source: © Tom Honan/INPHO

12. Larry Murphy (Cloughbawn)

Murphy worked alongside JJ Doyle as a selector with the Wexford U21s before stepping down late last year.

A sales rep in the Wexford/Waterford are with drinks company, C&C, Murphy retired from senior inter-county hurling in 2004.

This year, he’s been coaching the Glynn-Barntown’s U12s.

Source: Matt Browne/INPHO

13. Eamonn Scallan (Liam Mellows)

Scallan was sent off in the 1996 final for a wild pull on Stephen McDonagh, an offence that was out of character for the Liam Mellows clubman.

This year, the secondary school-teacher in Bunclody was manager of the Wexford minor hurlers and he’s also been in charge of Carlow outfit Mount Leinster Rangers for the past two seasons.

14. Garry Laffan (Glynn-Barntown)

Laffan became involved in the bookmaking business in latter years and hurled for Wexford until 2002.

He also won a county SFC medal with Glynn-Barntown and served as an U21 county hurling team selector alongside Tony Dempsey for three seasons from 2010, as well as working alongside ex-senior boss Colm Bonnar during his spell at the helm.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

15. Tom Dempsey (Buffers Alley)

A medical rep, Dempsey went on to serve as a Wexford minor hurling selector in the late 2000s.

His heart and soul still lies with Buffers Alley but now living in the parish of Barntown, Dempsey is lending a hand there with underage club teams.

Dempsey’s also well-known as a current hurling analyst for RTÉ.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

Subs

Billy Byrne (Naomh Éanna)

A sales rep, Byrne was involved with Eamonn Scallan’s Wexford minor management team this year.

Byrne is a passionate hurling man who has assisted a number of club teams and also served on underage committees alongside 1996 Wexford manager Liam Griffin.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

Paul Finn (Oulart-The-Ballagh)

Finn works for the county council as a lorry driver and can now be seen pounding the local roads two or three nights a week.

Finn’s son, Jim, was a member of the Wexford U14 panel this year.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

Paul Codd (Rathnure)

Codd was just 19 when he was brought on in the closing stages of the 1996 All-Ireland final.

A farmer, renowned free-taker Codd went on to captain the Wexford team and remained part of the panel until 2006.

Source: © Matt BrowneINPHO

Management

Liam Griffin

The man who pulled it all together, Griffin continues to be a successful hotelier.

Griffin later played a key role on the Hurling Development Committee that helped to introduce the Christy Ring and Nicky Rackard Cups, which were first played for in 2005.

Griffin was a dual player in his time who played minor hurling for Wexford, and for Clare in the U21 grade.

He also represented the Wexford footballers at various grades, including senior.

Source: © Billy Stickland/INPHO

Rory Kinsella

Kinsella served as selector alongside Griffin and stepped into the management role when Griffin stepped aside following the 1996 success.

Kinsella, a retired school-teacher, stayed in that role until 1999 and brought Wexford to another All-Ireland semi-final in 1997, where they lost to Tipperary.

Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Seamus Barron and Sean Collier

Barron now has his own agricultural business and was a key member of Griffin’s backroom team. Another, Sean Collier, now works at the Talbot Hotel, practicing sports massage and trigger point needling.

An accomplished athlete and fitness coach to the Wexford team at the time, Collier is well-known in local circles as a successful triathlete. Griffin told us that it’s not unusual for Collier to swim 200 lengths of the pool at the Ferrycarrig hotel in the morning before embarking on a 100-mile plus cycle later in the day.

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