Golfer Shane Lowry was named as Offaly Sports Achiever of the Decade at the weekend by an independent adjudication panel appointed by Offaly Sports Partnership to consider nominations for its Sports Awards of the Decade.
The adjudication panel of Matt Connor, Kevin Corrigan and Emma Jane Clarke of Sport Ireland deliberated at length on 15 various sports categories, and a shortlist of 52 sports people for the various sporting awards.
Following their deliberations, they then looked at all category winners and chose Lowry’s performances as the county’s outstanding sporting achievement for the decade. Results from the other sporting categories will remain a guarded secret until presentations are made at a gala function in the Bridge House Hotel on Saturday, 3rd December. The shortlist in the various categories are
· Athletics – Pauline Curley, Gordon Kennedy and James Nolan
· Boxing – Lauren Hogan, Brian Kennedy and Gráinne Walsh
· Camogie – Elaine Dermody, Michaela Morkan and Sheila Sullivan
· Court Sports – David Hope (Handball), Susa Moran (Basketball) and Michael O Brien (Handball)
· Gaelic Football – Ciaran Mc Manus, Niall Mc Namee and Karol Slattery
· Golf – Billy Donlon, Stuart Grehan and Shane Lowry · Horse Sport – Darragh Kenny, Pat Smullen and Tom Malone
· Hurling – Brian Carroll, Shane Dooley and Rory Hanniffy
· Ladies Football – Emma Dalton, Mairead Daly and Lorraine Keena
· Para Sport – Eoin Cleare, Lorraine Regan and Nicole Turner
· Rugby – Peter Bracken, Aaron Deverell and Peter Dooley
· Soccer – Iarfhlaith Davoren, Sylvia Gee and Seamus Kelly
· Special Olympics – Damien Breslin, Dessie Gonoude and Patrick Moore
· Water Sports – Alex Condron (Swimming), Peter Neale (Rowing) and Niamh Ní Cheallachair (Rowing)
· Other Sports – William Buckley Junior (Pitch and Putt), Aiden Fogarty (Clay Pigeon Shooting), Kevin Keyes (Motor Bike Racing), Cathal Mc Donald (Clay Pigeon Shooting), Francine Meehan (Cycling), Marie Triona Keating (Triathlon), Mary Daly (Triathlon) and Tracey Mc Grath (Pitch and Putt)
As a challenge, members of the public are encouraged to try and predict the winners for each category, and see if their selection matches that of the adjudicators.
Meanwhile, three sports volunteers were chosen for recognition on the night in acknowledgement of the essential role that volunteerism plays in the county’s sporting culture. Ann Marie Guinan from Drumcullen Camogie Club was named Youth Volunteer of the Decade; Liam “Morley” Brereton of St Brigid’s Boxing Club, Edenderry was named as Volunteer of the Decade; and John Cronin from the Tullamore Harriers is to be recognised for a Lifetime’s Contribution to Sport.
All nominees on the shortlist have been invited to the gala function on the 3rd December as part of Offaly Sports Partnership’s 10th anniversary celebrations. “The coming together of so many dedicated sports people from so many disciplines will be a fitting celebration of the past ten years of sport in Offaly,” said Miriam O Callaghan, Chairperson of Offaly Sports Partnership.
Tickets for the gala function at which presentations will be made, go on sale this week. Pre booking is advised. Tickets cost €30 and will include a four course meal, dancing till late and the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of Offaly’s leading sports people from the past ten years and earlier.
Anyone wishing to purchase a ticket should contact Offaly Sports Partnership on 057 93 46843 or Eamonn Henry, Coordinator Offaly Sports Partnership on 086 7948054.