Conor McKenna and Chris Fagan after the R23 match between Brisbane and Collingwood at Marvel Stadium on August 18, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

IRISHMAN Conor McKenna has signed a two-year extension to remain at Brisbane after an impressive return to the AFL in 2023. 

The 27-year-old joined the Lions on a one-year rookie deal last November via the pre-season supplemental selection period, after meeting with St Kilda, Geelong, Port Adelaide and Essendon. 

McKenna could have signed a more lucrative deal when he returned to Australia but opted to assess his options after getting through most of his return season before negotiating an extension. 

Now the County Tyrone product has put pen to paper on a deal that will tie him to Brisbane until the end of 2025. 

McKenna has played all 24 matches – including the qualifying final win over Port Adelaide earlier this month – since returning to the game he walked away from in 2020.


The half-back chose to return home to Ireland amid the coronavirus pandemic after playing 79 games across six seasons at Essendon.

Brisbane list manager Dom Ambrogio visited McKenna in Northern Ireland midway through last year after initially trying to secure his signature in 2018 and sold the former Bomber on the chance of playing in a premiership. 

The Lions now face Carlton for a spot in their first Grand Final since the 2004 decider when Port Adelaide prevented them from winning four premierships in a row. 

Brisbane re-signed former Kilkenny hurler Darragh Joyce for 2024 last week to provide its defence with coverage, after recruiting the ex-Saint during the pre-season supplemental selection period. 

Just like Geelong, the Lions have three Irishmen on the list in Queensland, with James Madden also contracted for next season. 

The Cats will also have that many players from the Emerald Isle at the club in 2024 with Irish games record holder Zach Tuohy securing a new one-year deal last week to remain at GMHBA Stadium alongside premiership player Mark O'Connor and young gun Oisin Mullin.