Pádraic Maher (born 9 February 1989) is an Irish hurler who currently plays as a left wing-back for the Tipperary senior team.
Maher made his first appearance for the team during the 2009 National League and has become a regular player ever since. During that time he has won two All-Ireland winners' medals, five Munster winners' medals and four All-Star awards. He has ended up as an All-Ireland runner-up on three occasions.He has been nominated for GAA All Stars Awards Hurler of the Year on two occasions also, in 2011 & 2016.
At club level Maher is a six-time county club championship medallist with Thurles Sarsfields and a one-time Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship medallist.
Maher plays his club hurling with the famous Thurles Sarsfield's club and enjoyed much success as a dual player in various juvenile and under-age grades.
In 2006 he was just 17 years old when he made his senior championship debut for the club.
After losing the championship decider in 2008, Thurles Sarsfield's bounced back to return to the county final again the following year. By this stage Maher was a regular member of the starting fifteen. A 0–14 to 0–5 trouncing of Drom-Inch gave him his first county club championship medal.
Thurles Sarsfield's made it two-in-a-row in 2010. A 1–16 to 1–7 defeat of Clonoulty-Rossmore gave Maher a second championship medal.
After surrendering their title in 2011, Thurles Sarsfield's were back in the county decider again the following year. A 1–21 to 2–15 defeat of Drom-Inch gave Maher his third championship medal in four seasons.
Maher first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Tipperary minor hurling team. He enjoyed much success in this grade as Tipperary reached the All-Ireland decider via the "back-door" in 2006. Three-in-a-row hopefuls Galway provided the opposition, however, Tipp powered to 2–18 to 2–7 victory. It was Maher's first All-Ireland medal in that grade.
In 2007 Maher won a Munster medal at minor level following an 0–18 to 1–11 defeat of Cork. Both sides met again in the All-Ireland decider, where Cork lost again by 3–14 to 2–11, giving Maher a second successive All-Ireland medal.
Maher subsequently joined the Tipperary under-21 team. He won a Munster medal in this grade in his debut season following a controversial one-point defeat of Clare. Tipp later reached the All-Ireland, however, Maher 's side were defeated by Kilkenny.
After surrendering their provincial crown in 2009, Tipperary bounced back the following year. A 1–22 to 1–17 defeat of Clare gave Maher a second Munster medal. Tipp later played Galway in the All-Ireland final and went on to trounce the westerners by 5–22 to 0–12. It was Maher 's sole All-Ireland medal in that grade.
Maher made his senior competitive debut for Tipperary in a National League game against Dublin in 2009.
Later that year Maher made his championship debut for Tipp. He subsequently won his first Munster medal as Tipp defeated Waterford by 4–14 to 2–16. After a six-week lay-off and a facile semi-final win over Limerick, Tipperary qualified for an All-Ireland final meeting with Kilkenny. For much of the match it looked as if Tipp would pull off a shock and deny 'the Cats' a record-equalling four-in-a-row. Two quick goals in the space of a minute, one from a penalty by Henry Shefflin, sealed a 2–22 to 0–23 victory and defeat for Tipperary. In spite of falling short Maher was later presented with a coveted All-Star award. He was also named in the 2009 Opel hurling team of the year.
After surrendering their Munster title to Cork, Tipperary regrouped in the qualifiers and reached a second successive All-Ireland decider. Kilkenny, decimated by injuries to key players including the great Henry Shefflin and 4 key defenders, but nevertheless chasing an unprecedented fifth successive championship, provided the opposition and a great game was expected. Tipperary got off to a great start which was bolstered by an early Lar Corbett goal. He subsequently completed a hat-trick of goals and Tipperary had a fourth by Noel McGrath to deny Kilkenny's drive-for-five and secure a remarkable and convincing 4–17 to 1–18 victory. It was Maher's first All-Ireland winners' medal.
Tipperary returned as provincial kingpins once again in 2011. A 7–19 to 0–19 trouncing of Waterford in the southern decider gave Maher a second Munster medal. For the third successive year, Tipperary faced off against Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final, however, on this occasion Kilkenny were slight underdogs going up against the new champions. Kilkenny started quickly and never surrendered the lead in the 2–17 to 1–16 victory. Maher later won a second All-Star award while he was also a nominee for Hurler of the Year.
In spite of an indifferent National League campaign, Tipperary were regarded as potential All-Ireland champions once again. A 2–17 to 0–16 defeat of Waterford in the provincial decider gave Maher a third Munster medal in four seasons. Tipperary later faced eventual champions Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final, but despite confidence from the supporters of the Munstermen who travelled in huge numbers to the game, Kilkenny came out on top, dishing out a humiliating 4–24 to 1–15 defeat.
In October 2014, Maher won his third All Stars Award after a successful 2014 campaign where Tipperary reached the All-Ireland Final.
On 4 September 2016, playing alongside his younger brother Ronan, Maher won his second All-Ireland Senior hurling title when Tipperary defeated Kilkenny in the final by 2-29 to 2-20. He would go on to win his fourth All Stars Award.
On 28 November 2016, Maher was named as the new captain of the Tipperary Senior hurling team for 2017.
Maher has also lined out with Munster in the Inter-provincial Championship.Tipperary
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship (2): 2010, 2016
Munster Senior Hurling Championship (5): 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016
All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship (1): 2010
Munster Under-21 Hurling Championship (2): 2008, 2010
All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship (2): 2006, 2007
Munster Minor Hurling Championship (1): 2007
Waterford Crystal Cup (2): 2012, 2014
Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship (6): 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 (c)
Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship (1): 2012
Railway Cup (1): 2016
Garda Síochána College
Ryan Cup (1): 2017 (c)
All-Stars (4): 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016