Offaly GAA announced last night (Sunday) the passing of their senior football manager.
The world of GAA was sent into mourning last night as the news filtered through of the passing of Liam Kearns. The Tralee native passed away suddenly on Sunday evening after a short illness. On 11 August 2022, Kearns was announced as Offaly’s senior football manager after John Maughan had stepped down.
In a statement, Offaly GAA said it was “devastated to learn of the sudden passing this evening of our senior football manager, Liam Kearns.
“In his short period of time as manager of the senior footballers, Liam made a hugely positive impact and he was extremely well respected by everyone associated with Offaly GAA”.
A retired Garda sergeant and member of Austin Stacks, he completed a strength & conditioning degree from Setanta College in the mid-2010s. Kearns had a fruitful playing career with his native club, he won a senior county title in 1986, and he also played Inter-County with Kerry. In 1980 after a two-year stint with the minors he won an All-Ireland medal. He progressed to the under-21 and with the Senior team after that.
When Liam finished up his playing career he took the natural progression of going into management. He coached Na Piarsiagh club to the Limerick Under-21 Football Championship in 1997, the club’s only under-21 county football title. He was appointed Mick O’Dwyers successor of Laois in 2006, he stayed with them until 2008 when after some unrest from delegates saying “the man must go” he stepped away.
In 2015 he was named Tipp’s senior football manager. In 2016 Tipperary reached the Munster SFC final after a 3–15 to 2–16 win against Cork. They went on to defeat Derry by a scoreline of 1–21 to 2–17 in round 3A of the qualifiers to reach the All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals for the first time. Tipperary defeated Galway in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park to reach the first All-Ireland SFC semi-final since 1935 where they lost to Mayo in the semi-final.
On 8 April 2017, Tipperary won the Division 3 final of the 2017 National Football League. He resigned as their manager in 2019.
Liam is survived by his wife Angela and daughters Rachel & Laura. Ar a dheis dé go raibh a ainm dilís.