|Full name||Liam Kearney|
|Date of birth||10 January 1983|
|Place of birth||Conna, Cork, Republic of Ireland|
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 6 1⁄2 in)|
|1999–2000||Republic of Ireland U16||7||(0)|
|2004–2005||Republic of Ireland U21||7||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Liam Kearney (Irish: Liam Ó Cearnaigh; born 10 January 1983, Republic of Ireland), nicknamed "The Conna Maradona", is an Irish professional footballer associated primarily with Cork City in the League of Ireland.
Kearney played mainly on the left wing and represented the Republic of Ireland U21 team on seven occasions, scoring once.
Kearney joined Nottingham Forest from Fermoy United after previously playing for Valley Rangers. He was the star of the Cork Schoolboys League Kennedy Cup team in 1998 and as a result signed with Nottingham Forest in 1999. Whilst with Forest, Kearney won the U19 FA Premier League. Kearney appeared many times for several of the underage Irish national teams, from U16 to U20. He played in the U16 European championships in Israel and finished 3rd in Norway in the U19 European Championships. He also attracted interest from Cheltenham manager Bobby Gould.
Kearney returned to Ireland in 2003, joining Cork City. In 2004, he made his Republic of Ireland U21 debut against Italian opposition. Kearney won seven U21 caps whilst with Cork scoring once in a 1–0 victory over Italy. 2005 saw Cork City and Kearney embark on a campaign that would ultimately see them win the league title on the final day, beating Derry City 2–0 in which Kearney scored the second goal. The club also progressed into the First Round of the UEFA Cup, having started as an unseeded side in the first qualifying round, eliminating FK Ekranas from Lithuania and the eventual Swedish champions Djurgårdens IF, before being knocked out by Slavia Prague. Kearney left Cork City for Shelbourne in 2006 following an offer from Dutch Premier Division side Heerenveen was denied to the disappointment of the player.
Kearney joined Shelbourne from the then league champions, Cork City, on a free transfer in January 2006. He was limited to few first team opportunities, making just 10 league appearances throughout the season, scoring once. Shelbourne manager Pat Fenlon agreed to a temporary freezing of Liam's contract whilst he took a few weeks away from football during the 2006 season to regain his hunger and focus. Kearney returned in time to take a left wing berth in a friendly against English Championship side Sunderland. Kearney failed to break into the first team upon his return, but was rewarded with his second league winners medal in two years, as Shelbourne clinched the title on the last day. He has described his time in Dublin as "disappointing".
Return to Cork City
Kearney departed Shelbourne on 22 January 2007 to rejoin Cork City, signing a two-year contract. Later that year he criticised the club for not settling players' contracts. In August 2008 he said that, despite Cork City's poor financial position and difficulties in re-signing and paying its players, he would prefer to stay with the club. He scored the winning goal in Cork City's Setanta Sports Cup final win over Glentoran but because of City's failure to offer him a new contract due to financial turmoil, Kearney left for Derry City after being approached by Stephen Kenny.
Derry City signed Kearney on the first day of the 2009 January transfer window. He started off well to his career at the Brandywell, however he sustained a broken leg during a match in May against Galway United and was out for three months. By the end of July it was still unclear as to when he would return. He also missed Derry's UEFA Europa League games, which saw them knock out Skonto Riga and run CSKA Sofia close. He expressed his disappointment at not being able to participate in Europe however he said once he regained fitness he was looking forward to helping the Candystripes challenge for the League of Ireland title.
Kearney signed for Waterford United in what was a significant coup for the club. He became a fans' favourite within his first 5 games scoring the winner against his old club Derry City in his second game. Kearney was a big influence in Waterford United's push for the promotion towards the end of the season. He scored 5 league goals and played 30 league games before leaving the club.
Dandenong Thunder SC
Return to Cork City 2014
Kearney returned to Cork City FC at the start of the 2014 season from Avondale United, having being denied in joining halfway through the 2013 season due to amateur player regulations. He left the club after the 2015 season in which Cork City were runners up to Dundalk in both the Airtricity League Premier Division and FAI Cup.
- Cork City
- "Kearney signs for United". www.waterford-united.ie. 14 January 2010. Archived from the original on 21 January 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
- "Gould keen on Kearney". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- Shelbourne v Finn Harps team news
- Administrator, mirror (16 July 2006). "FENLON RULES OUT MOVE FOR FREE FAHEY".
- "abcgoal.com". Archived from the original on 11 September 2009.
- "Kearney slams Cork City over contract chaos – Independent.ie".
- "Kearney back to square one – Herald.ie".
- Cork winger Kearney joins Derry BBC Sport Online. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
- Liam Kearney pens Australia deal Archived 19 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine extratime.ie. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- "Kearney returns to Cork City ranks – Independent.ie".