1980 was to be a particularly memorable year for the province with Galway, managed by Cyril Farrell, capturing the Liam McCarthy Cup for the first time in 57 years. Galway hurlers also brought the 1980 Railway Cup to Connacht and Castlegar won the All-Ireland Club Hurling title.
On the administration front, Connacht Council was led by Dr Michael Loftus and a new treasurer, Michael Brett, Sligo, replaced Paddy Walsh, Roscommon who had completed his three-year term.
A major boost to underage hurling in Connacht was the choice of Galway as the venue for the 1980 Féile na nGael.
The close of another decade gave rise to many reviews of the state of the association in the province. While it could be argued that much improvement was still necessary it was also conceded that great progress had been made, particularly in the areas of coaching, improved levels of administration, the presentation of games and in the development of club and county grounds. Outshining all other achievements on the playing fields were Galway’s three All-Ireland Hurling titles of 1980, 1987 and 1988.