Brendan Martin with the Brendan Martin Cup awarded to the winner of the ladies football All-Ireland championships.
Tullamore native, Brendan Martin, a pioneer of ladies football, has been selected as the 2019 Offaly Person of the Year.
Brendan was instrumental in organising the first All-Ireland Ladies Football Championships in 1974 and has seen the sport go from strength to strength over the decades.
He bought the Cup that was presented to the winners of the first All-Ireland championships, Tipperary, who beat Offaly by a point in the final played in Durrow in Co. Laois.
The cup awarded to the winners of the championships each year still bears his name, the Brendan Martin Cup.
The Dillon St native is also a talented musician who joined St Colmcille's Pipe Band in his native Tullamore at the tender age of 14 and is renowned as a raconteur and storyteller in his adopted home of Kill in Co. Kildare.
A qualified quantity surveyor, Brendan was a staunch member of the Offaly Association in Dublin for many years and established one of the leading construction firms in the capital.
The recipient of the second annual Unsung Hero of Offaly Award is Pat Minnock, from Cappincur.
Pat, a leading light in Tullamore Lions Club who is presently immersed in the Hooves4Hospice project, is a community worker par excellence who operates under the radar helping those in need in his local area.
The Rahan native has been immersed in community groups in Tullamore and his adopted Cappincur for over four decades.
The former Readymix salesman has been a stalwart of the Lourdes Invalid Fund since the early 1980s and is a drystock farmer, whose hobby is restoring vintage vehicles which he exhibits at shows and rallies around the region.
The affable and outgoing community activist has climbed Croagh Patrick on 21 occasions, no less than ten of which he completed in his bare feet.
The awards will be presented by the Offaly Association [Dublin] at a gala dinner dance in the Bridge House Hotel on Saturday, March 28 next.
The award is sponsored by Coolderry native Noel Tynan, Le Bon Crubeen Restaurant, Talbot St, Dublin.
This is the 31st Offaly Person of the Year Award and previous recipients have included former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, former President of the GAA, the late John Dowling, golfer Shane Lowry, historian Michael Byrne, Birr's Bro. Denis, jockey Pat Smullen, businessmen John Flanagan, the late Seamus Carroll and John Grennan, footballer Paddy Fenning and athlete Pauline Curley.
Tickets for the event are priced at €40 and will be available from any member of the Offaly Association sub-committee which organises the event or from the Bridge House Hotel later this week.
The organising committee members are Jennifer Guinan, Chairperson, Offaly Association, Liam Fleury, Anne Carey, Noel McCann, Pat Teehan, Peter Carter and Ger Scully.
Read more Tullamore and Offaly news in this week's Tullamore Tribune