President’s Awards 2011
The GAA has confirmed the 16 winners of the Gradaim an Uachtaráin 2011 President’s Awards ahead of a special Croke Park banquet this evening.
The annual winners are honoured as long standing GAA volunteers who have served the Association with distinction in their chosen field over a prolonged period
The recipients who have been chosen by Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana have been drawn from across all strands of the Association and represent all codes and disciplines from the wider GAA family.
The GAA President paid tribute to those honoured by this year’s scheme.
He said: “This scheme is about honouring and acknowledging those who work so hard on our behalf for such long periods of time to ensure that we have vibrant clubs and activity all over the country.
“This commitment is not played out in the limelight and does not generate headlines but it is the sort of dedication that makes the GAA what it is.
“I congratulate all of our 2011 winners and laud their efforts over so many years. These awards acknowledge the unstintingly loyalty of a group of exemplary volunteers that I hope will remain active in Cumann Lúthchleas Gael for many years to come. Congratulations one and all.”
In addition to those involved in the promotion of football, hurling and general administration, representatives from Camogie, Ladies football, GAA Handball and GAA Rounders were also selected.
Third Level Education and Overseas also had winners nominated and for the first time ever a special Family Acknowledgement Award, to be known as the Dermot Earley Family Award was presented in acknowledgement of outstanding family contribution to the GAA.
The inaugural award will be made to the Earley Family.
This evening’s banquet, supported by AIB, will be broadcast on TG4 tonight at 10:15pm.
The winners will also be introduced to the crowd at Croke Park tomorrow at half time in the AIB GAA All-Ireland Club football final.
2011 Award Winners
Johnny Butler, Doon, Limerick
Johnny’s career began when he played Minor hurling with Doon in 1956 and had his first competitive Junior match in ‘58. Through three decades he coached and trained Minor teams to four county titles and has been selector on numerous Senior teams. He has served in all administrative capacities including Club chairperson on two occasions.
Michael Looney, Dr. Crokes, Kerry
A member of the Dr. Crokes Club for more than six decades, Michael enjoyed a successful underage career in both hurling and football. After emigrating to New York in 1954, he continued to play both codes for Kerry. On his return Michael joined the Fitzgerald Stadium committee where he spent more than four decades, in which period millions were spent on its development.
Margaret McConville, Crossmaglen, Armagh (Pictured)
Margaret McConville has held many roles within Crossmaglen Rangers that she has performed with distinction. Margaret’s involvement with Crossmaglen Rangers spans six decades as a player, a supporter and an administrator. Margaret is best known for her role as Club secretary. Margaret was secretary from 1992–2003 and assistant secretary from 2003 to the present day.
Paul Doris, Dungannon Clarkes, Tyrone
Paul served as Club chairman for a couple of years at the start of the 1980s. After a stint as treasurer to the Tyrone County Board he took over the County Chairman role for an extended period. He played a key role in the development of O’Neill Park in Dungannon and is also groundsman there.
Paddy Mulvey, Shannon Gaels, Roscommon
Having completed 63 years on the Shannon Gaels Board, Paddy Mulvey stepped down from that role earlier this year. He was handed his first role back in 1947 as Club Secretary, which he held for more than two decades and had been PRO until his recent retirement.
Gerry Mahon, Seán Ó Heslins, Leitrim
Gerry’s outstanding capabilities and leadership qualities saw him play key roles within Leitrim County Board as Oifigeach Gaeilge, delegate to Connacht Council, Hurling Board Chairman and Cathaoirleach of the Board itself, before being elected as Central Council Delegate.
Fiontan Mac Ginneártaí, Gaeil Colm Cille, Meath
Fintan was chairman of Coiste na Mí for 20 years, from 1986 to 2005. His first undertaking was the redevelopment of Páirc Tailteann. He has had a lifetime of involvement with the Association and apart from his lengthy spell as chairman, he has also served as Secretary of the Minor Board and Central Council representative.
John Curtis, Ballyhogue, Wexford
John Curtis has worked diligently at committee level for Club, district and county. He had a distinguished Club playing career, was heavily involved in developing his Club’s playing facilities and currently acts as secretary to the Wexford Sean Gael committee.
Katie Forde, Croydon Camogie Club, London
Katie Forde joined Croydon Camogie Club from her native Turloughmore Club in Galway in 2002 and immediately took on the role of Club secretary. Katie carried out her role as County Secretary with great commitment and professionalism. Katie stepped down from the role of secretary for a couple of years but during that time she was still doing huge work on the development of Camogie.
Br. Finbar Spring, St Augustines College, Waterford
Since the late 1980s Brother Spring has been passing on his passion for GAA Handball in Dungarvan through St. Augustines College and the Friary Abbeyside Ballinacourty Club he founded. He has helped Waterford’s Handballers become a formidable underage outfit who have won All-Irelands across almost every age group. Br. Spring has been responsible for the funding and building of several alleys in Waterford.
Joe O’Donoghue, President, Rounders Council of Ireland
Joe O’Donoghue brought Rounders to Ballon, Co. Carlow in the mid 1980s, and in the late ‘90s went on to co-found Cúchulainn Rounders Club, Ballon. Joe joined the National Rounders Council in 1996 and has served in various positions since then, currently serving as President. He is also the Leinster Development Officer.
John Joe Brady, Mullahoran, Cavan
John Joe Brady’s association with Ladies Football goes back to 1976 and he has held practically all the positions of administration and management of football teams. John Joe was the first Chairman of the Mullahoran Club in the years 1975 and 1982 and from 1995 to ‘99. He helped bring the Mullahoran Ladies to the top of the ladder in 1977 when they won the first ever All-Ireland Club final.
Eugene McKenna, WIT GAA Club, Waterford
Eugene arrived from Monaghan to Waterford RTC in 1979 as an engineering lecturer and helped establish a GAA Club at the college. He has been a driving force behind the development of the GAA in WIT and brought the current Wexford manager to the Club as a full-time development officer in 1987.
Micheál Mac Conmara, Rúnaí Scór Na Mumhan
Micheál was elected as Runaí of County Scór in 1972 and has been Cathaoirleach since 1990. He chaired Scór na Mumhan from 1998-2000 and for the last 10 years has served as Rúnaí Coiste Scór na Mumhan. He has been on Lár Choiste Scór since 2005.
Brian Farmer, Canada GAA
Brian emigrated to Toronto in 1975 and was elected as the chairman of Toronto GAA in 1980. He was instrumental in bringing Gaelic Games to the Skydome in Toronto in 1990 and ’91 and worked with Toronto GAA in the organisation of national teams for the International World Cups of 1998, 2000 and ‘02 in Ireland.
The Earley Family
Dermot Earley passed away aged 62 in June of 2010. Dermot was the former Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces and starred for Roscommon for 20 years. He won two GAA All Stars in a distinguished career. His wife, Mary, and six children, including his son, Dermot, a GAA All Star winner with Kildare will accept the Family Award from the Uachtarán tonight.