The 1% Podcast

Brian Mullins

Brian Mullins Dublin GAA Lincoln Recruitment


  • 01

    Brian Mullins

    Experiences on and off the pitch, early years and current work with UCD The 1% Podcast


My guest today is Brian Mullins.

The name Brian Mullins will always be synonymous with a defining era for Gaelic Football in Dublin. Over the course of his career he won four All-Ireland titles, nine Leinster titles, two National League titles and two All-Star awards, and became a hero of Hill 16 for his inspirational displays in the middle of the field.  He has managed Derry and his club St Vincent’s to success and is currently Director of Sport in UCD.

In this episode, we deep dive into some of Brian’s experiences on and off the pitch, his formative experience of summers spent with his cousins in Kerry and Clare, his time playing inter-provincial rugby with Leinster, Kevin Heffernan’s management style and unique personality, his current work with UCD and much more.




Show Summary


1:45 The legacy of Anton O’Toole

  • His contribution to the sense of unity in the group


4.28 Family background

  • Mullins’ sport upbringing
  • Growing up in Clontarf and making the most of opportunities that come your way
  • Transferring to St. Vincent’s at 16 years old


11:15 Early training and competitions

  • Experiencing St. Vincent’s high-performance mentality
  • Playing with some of the great athletes of that time
  • Blackrock’s coaching style


15:35 Multidisciplinary players

  • Clontarf as an oasis of sport
  • “Everybody in my time, in my era, played whatever they could”


18.50 The context of sport in Ireland in the 1970s

  • Mullins’ early athletic career
  • Coach Dave Weldrick’s influence
  • Access to higher physical education opens up in Ireland
  • Dublin wins the Club Championship in September 1976


23.30 The transformation of the GAA

  • Changes to team culture
  • Growing public interest in the sport
  • A campaign for GAA athletes to visit all local primary schools


34:50 Influential leaders 

  • Kevin Heffernan’s leadership and team building in sport and in life
  • Mickey Whelan and Kevin Heffernan’s friendship and working relationship
  • The introduction of sport science


41.50 The heritage of the St Vincent’s club

  • The keys to success
  • Crafting a personal definition of hard work
  • How the GAA contributed to the community in Ireland


49.27 Team building

  • Kevin Heffernan’s intense training sessions
  • Player cuts and management decisions


58.00 Becoming champions

  • Learning the value of defeat
  • Preparing for the 1976 and 1977 seasons
  • Tony Hanahoe becomes player-manager
  • Sustaining performance after ’76, and the burden of the “three-in-a-row” win


1.07:30 Major obstacles and defining moments

  • Coming back to sport after the car crash in 1983
  • Mullins tells a story about a barman bet
  • The 1983 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final


1:16:00 Retirement

  • Making important career decisions, and the value of not looking back


1.18.51 The future of the GAA

  • Changing communities and the future of the GAA
  • How the GAA has become an integral part of Irish life


1.23.38 More recent projects

  • Highlights and achievements at the University College Dublin
  • Working on the promotion of health and wellbeing
  • The value of working in an educational environment


1.26.28 Present day

  • It’s time for evolution at the GAA
  • The provincial arrangement is not serving competitions as well as it did in the past
  • Making predictions for the championship this year