First Hurling All-Ireland—Thurles Champions
Five counties contested the first national championship in the native pastime—Galway, Wexford, Clare, Tipperary and Kilkenny. Galway beat Wexford, and went into the final. Thurles, representing Tipperary, met no opposition from Dublin. Their first game was in the second round at Nenagh against the Clare "Smith O'Briens". The score was Tipp 1-8 to Clare 0-4. The Tipperary—Kilkenny (Tullaroan) match was played at Urlingford on a Friday and was refereed with much difficulty by Frank Maloney. Tippeary won by 4-7 to nil. Easter Sunday 1888 was the date of the final—a date that for Tipperary Gaeldom will retain a glamour all it's own. Birr was the venue and Galway the opposition. Heartened by their smashing victory over Kilkenny, the Thurles hurlers, bold and confident, made the journey by special train. The game was an "epic", with the tension at a climax near the finish. At the interval Thurles led by a point—a margin that was a reflex of the play. When sides changed, the fighting blood of the West became aroused, and danger threatened for a while, but the Fates decreed that the honour should go to Tipperary when Tommy Healy scored a goal. The final score was Tipperary 1-2 Galway Nil.Canon Fogarty wrote the following concerning the GAA activities within Tipperary in 1887:
All-Star Handigrippers—Kilcash "Redoubtables"
The handigrippers of Kilcash, the most dreaded team in Tipperary, disappeared in 1888 because of the parish rule, but up to then they were: Tom and Ned Kelly; Pat Ryan; Jim and John Kehoe; Tom and James Butler; William and James Shea; Mick and Peter Tobin; Tom and Pat Lawless; Pat and Tom Stokes; Mick Dee; Jim Slattery; Tom Carey; Jack Commins; Tom Prendergast; Mick Fleming; William Gibbs; Dick Crotty; Phil Callanan; Mick Lyons; Jim Hennessy; John Harney; Patsy Neill and Pat Foran.