Lowry Feted As Outstanding Offaly Sports Stars And Volunteers Celebrated At Gala Awards

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Lowry Feted As Outstanding Offaly Sports Stars And Volunteers Celebrated At Gala Awards thumbnailThe Award winners or representatives pictured at the Offaly Sports Awards of the Decade at The Bridge House with officials. OH49-1-1809

A RARE celebration of Offaly sport took place in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore last Saturday night when some of the outstanding talent and biggest sporting names in the county were presented with awards.
Golfer, Shane Lowry, whose exploits have brought tremendous pride to his home county of Offaly, was the recipient of the night's big award, the Sports Achiever of the Decade and there were loud cheers from the attendance of 400 as he went forward to receive his accolade.
There were sixteen other awards presented to the outstanding performers in the past decade, across a whole range of other sports while there were also three special sporting volunteer awards presented with the life time contribution award going to John Cronin of the Tullamore Harriers, the volunteer of the decade going to Edenderry boxing official, Liam Brereton while the youth volunteer recipient was Ann Marie Guinan (camogie).
The awards were organised by the Offaly Sports Partnership to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their formation back in 2006. They decided to mark the occasion by honouring the outstanding sports achievers of the past decade and a committee organised all aspects of the night while the award recipients were selected by an independent adjudication panel of Matt Connor (Offaly Sports Partnership patron), Kevin Corrigan (Sports editor, Midland/Tullamore Tribune) and Emma Jane Clarke (Sport Ireland).
Clubs and individuals were invited to make nominations for the awards and a short list of three was then drawn up for each category. The overall sports achiever of the decade and the three volunteer awards had been announced in advance of the awards night while the other sports winners were only named on the night, leading to a sense of anticipation among all present.
The individual sports winners were:
Athletics - James Nolan;
Boxing - Lauren Hogan;
Camogie - Michaela Morkan;
Court sports - Susan Moran (basketball);
Gaelic football - Niall McNamee;
Golf - Stuart Grehan (*the overall sports achiever could not win the award in his own category);
Horse sport - Pat Smullen;
Hurling - Shane Dooley;
Ladies football - Mairead Daly;
Para sport - Nicole Turner;
Rugby - Peter Bracken;
Soccer - Iarfhlaith Davoren;
Special Olympics - Patrick Moore;
Water sports - Niamh Ni Cheilleachair (Rowing);
Other sports (2) - Tracey McGrath (Pitch and Putt) and Francine Meehan (Cycling and triathlon).
The night proved to be a massive success with many nominees bringing large groups of family and friends while there was a gathering of over fifty from the Tullamore Harriers to celebrate their chairman, John Cronin.
The various speakers spoke abut the excellence of sport's performers in Offaly, the important role that sport plays in the life of the county and the role the Offaly Sports Partnership plays in developing sport.
Speakers thanked everyone associated with the awards and the sponsors who helped the event to happen, in particular the organising committee of Eamon Henry, Darren Butler, Eamon Brady and Barry Keegan.
Master of ceremonies was Declan Kirrane of Offaly County Council while Eamon Henry of the Offaly Sports Partnership outlined the reasons for the awards and the Sports Partnership chairperson, Miriam O'Callaghan and special guest, Emma Jane Clarke of Sport Ireland also spoke about the importance of sport as an outlet to people.
Shane Lowry replied on behalf of the recipients and said he was privileged to accept the award while he hoped that he would be able to bring more pride to his county in the coming years.


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