Former students from one Offaly school claim ten top GAA awards

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Gallen Community School students past and present were to the fore as the winners of the 2019 Offaly GAA Awards were announced last week.

In total, nine former students and one present student, Kate Kenny, were rightfully recognised for their talent, dedication and consistent excellence.

Cian Johnson, Offaly Senior footballer of the Year, was an integral part of the Ferbane team that won the Dowling Cup for the first time in 25 years. Cian's marksmanship, particularly his 2-3 in the county final, and his totals of 0-6 and 0-5 in the quarter and semi-finals, signalled his ascent to the top of the scoring tree in Offaly senior football.

Cian was an important part of the Gallen CS team that won the 2016 All Ireland Senior Colleges B title in Croke Park scoring 1-4 in the final and scooping the man of the match award. It is hoped that Cian can continue to represent Offaly with distinction at Senior Inter-County level.

Ronan Hynes, the recipient of Intermediate Footballer of the Year award, was a key component of Shannonbridge's engine  room as the West Offaly side won the Intermediate title for the first time since 1991 beating Clonbullogue in the final.

"Despite his team losing the Leinster Junior Club semi final on Sunday last, Ronan is a worthy winner of this accolade. Ronan starred at centre halfback on the All Ireland winning Gallen CS team of 2016 where his leadership and steely determination were to the fore," the school said in a statement.

Callum Boland, Junior Footballer of the Year is a Doon native and played GAA and rugby for Gallen CS. This multi-talented sportsman plays rugby for the Buccaneers Senior team in the AIL and he also starred in the Junior Football final against Edenderry, getting forward to score a vital goal.

Kevin Nugent, Junior Hurler of the Year, is a pacy athletic player whose versatility is shown by the fact he played in the inside forward line for Belmont junior hurlers and wing-back for Ferbane senior footballers. In the Junior hurling semi-final, Kevin's goals helped Belmont into the final. In the Junior hurling final, his goal in the second half against Kilcormac/Killoughey, helped to turn the tide of victory Belmont's way. Kevin capped a memorable year with a Senior Football Championship medal.

Kate Kenny is a sportswoman of rare class. Her scoring feats for both Naomh Ciaran ladies football on their march to All Ireland Intermediate final glory last Saturday and for St Rynaghs camogie team on their progression to an All Ireland semi-final are the stuff of legend. 

Kate's scoring totals of 1-10, 1-8, 3-5 and 0-8 in a Leinster football final, All Ireland football semi-final, Leinster Camogie Final and All Ireland Football final respectively are noteworthy. Indeed her roving role which often sees her alternate between midfield and full-forward for Naomh Ciaran makes her scoring prowess in Ladies Football all the more praiseworthy. Kate was an integral part of the Gallen CS Ladies Team who won the All Ireland Ladies Football title in 2016.

Avril Spain, Zoe Rooney, Valene Greer, Niamh Delaney and Sara Kenny deserve commendable mention as members of the Ferbane Ballad Group who won the All Ireland Scor Sinsuir in Castlebar in April of this year.

These girls are no strangers to All Ireland glory having won two All Ireland Scor Na nÓg titles when under the tutelage of Ms Deborah Reynolds in Gallen CS. Avril is also  a key defender in the Naomh Ciaran All Ireland winning team.

Gallen CS  is justifiably proud of all these worthy award winners whose sporting and musical prowess is being rightfully recognised.