Sean Gael Mid Tipperary awards 2012

This year’s Sean Gael award winners for Mid Tipperary are

This year’s Sean Gael award winners for Mid Tipperary are

Willie Barnaville

(Gortnahoe Glengoole)

He first came to prominence with his club in 1958 when Gortnahoe Glengoole won the Mid Tipperary Junior hurling title. Shortly afterwards he was forced to emigrate to London where he continued to play hurling with distinction. He was goalkeeper on three London teams that were defeated in All Ireland Intermediate finals in 1963, 1964 and 1965. He gained compensation in 1967 and 1968 when London put back to back victories together defeating Cork and Dublin respectively.

Having completed his time in exile he returned to his beloved parish once more and gave sterling service to the club. He continued to play with distinction as the club goalkeeper and was selected by Tipperary for the Intermediate championship of 1971 which culminated with him collecting Provincial and All Ireland honours.

He continued to give his all to the club and had the distinction of winning a Mid Tipperary No. 1 Junior title in 1972.

Martin Dwan

(Drom & Inch)

The man being honoured here has given a lifetime of service to our great association in different roles. His love of Gaelic Games was inspired by the contribution of his father to the many great victories by the Toomevara greyhounds in the early years of the GAA.

He wore the green and white of his beloved Drom & Inch in the fifties when the club would not be of present day standard. History books tell us that in a mid junior championship game in the fifties he scored 4-1 a remarkable contribution.

When his playing days concluded he continued to serve his club with diligence, working both at adult and juvenile level. He was juvenile treasurer for many years and also represented the club as a delegate at Divisional Board level.

Billy O’Grady

(Moyne Templetuohy)

This recipient comes from one of the great hurling families in the Moyne Templetuohy parish, the O’Gradys of Kilclooney. The best known of this remarkable group of men would be Bill affectionately know as “Big Bill” who indeed was a central figure in the glorious hurling era experienced by the club in the sixties and seventies.

He won County No. 1 junior hurling titles with the club in 1961 and 1965 and was captain of the Tipperary Intermediate team that won the All Ireland title in that grade in 1966 defeating Dublin in the final.

As the club grew in stature as a senior hurling force “Big Bill” became a central figure and played a leading role when the club captured its first Divisional Senior hurling title in 1970. Further Divisional titles were added in 1972, 1976 and 1977.

Undoubtedly his greatest day on a GAA field was October 31st 1971 when after an outstanding performance he inspired his club to a never to be forgotten victory over Roscrea in a memorable County Senior hurling final on the score (2-7) to (0-5).

Pat Cullen

(Loughmore Castleiney)

This man is currently Vice President of his club and would be deservedly recognised as one of its greatest servants. He played hurling and football with Castleiney in the late fifties before a parish club was formed around 1960. He continued to figure in the club singlet for many years and won Divisional titles in both codes.

When his playing days were complete he immersed himself in every facet of club activity and contributed in no small way in making Loughmore Castleiney one of the most active and respected dual clubs in the County.

He has acted as Chairman of the club on different occasions and was a senior hurling selector when the parish captured its first County senior hurling title in 1988.

Over the years he has been one of the most active referees in the Division and has willingly given of his time to officiate at school games big and small throughout the County, a fact that is much appreciated. Despite his club loyalty he has found time to act as Chairman of the Mid Board a position he held from 1985-88.

Sam Melbourne

(Moycarkey Borris)

This recipient was born in the great GAA parish of Moycarkey Borris in 1923. His boyhood heroes were two local All Ireland medallists Jack Gleeson and Tim Condon. He played hurling in his youth and was on the Mid Tipp minor hurling selection in 1940 & 41. He has carved a special niche for himself in GAA history by his collection of GAA memorabilia that is famous not alone nationally but much further a field.

He commenced his collection in 1937 with a Hurley he received from Johnny Ryan an All Ireland medalist that year. This has grown to over three hundred Hurleys from former stars in every County in Ireland.

His sports shop in Friar St, Thurles in the fifties was a colourful place with photos, scrapbooks, newspaper cuttings and jerseys of former players attracting people from far and wide.He moved to Dublin in 1956 and from there he travelled the length and breath of the Country in his Hiace Van displaying his vast collection of GAA memorabilia to clubs and communities and givingc talks about his collection.

When that was no longer possible Tipperary Co. Board purchased the collection in 1988 and the items are on display in Lár na Páirce while photos scrapbooks and newspaper cuttings are to be found in the Sports Section of Thurles Library for the pleasure of all to see. His lifelong love and dedication to our great association makes him an ideal addition to the Sean Ghael ranks.

John Dwyer

(Boherlahan Dualla)

This recipient would be recognised as one of the club’s great servants over the years. He comes from a family steeped in the tradition of the GAA. His father Tommy played with Ballytarsna, Suirview and Tubberadora in the early years of the Association and was elected President of the newly formed Boherlahan club in 1912, a position which reflected the esteem in which he and his family was held.

Having been inspired by the deeds of his father in the club singlet, John represented Boherlahan Dualla at senior level in hurling in the 1950s and also wore the Blue & Gold of the Tipperary in tournament games at that time. When his playing days were over he continued to serve the club in different roles and passed on his love of the Association to his family.

His daughter Catherine was the first secretary of the Boherlahan Dualla juvenile club when formed in 1980 and in 1996 when the great traditional hurling stronghold bridged a fifty five year gap by capturing the Dan Breen Cup his son Tommy played a leading role in that famous victory from the corner back position. This man indeed is a most deserving Sean Ghael award winner for 2012.

Paddy Cooney

(Moycarkey Borris)

The man being honoured here is synonymous with the promotion of Scór in his native Moycarkey Borris since the competition began in the 1970s. Ably assisted by his wife Josie, he was the driving force behind Moycarkey’s success at Mid, County and Provincial level in those early years. The pinnacle for him and his family was being crowned All Ireland set dancing champions in Scór na nÓg in 1973 and Scór Sinsear in 1977.

Apart from being involved at club level he has also played no small part in the organisation of Scór at Mid and County since its inception in the 1970’s up to recent times.

In his youth he wore the club singlet at Junior level in both hurling and football and in the 1970’s and 1980’s he was very much involved at Juvenile level with the Moycarkey Borris club.

In recognition of his marvellous work for underage hurling in the parish the club organises an under 10 hurling tournament in his honour every year.

Michael Murphy

(Thurles Sarsfields)

He is currently Vice President of the Durlas Óg club. He was one of the founding fathers of Durlas Óg, a unit that plays such an important part in the promotion and development of Gaelic Games in the Cathedral town.

As a player he first came to prominence in the mid fifties winning an all Ireland minor medal in 1957 when Tipperary defeated Kilkenny in the final. Having left the minor ranks he continued to develop his skills with the famous Thurles Sarsfields club winning eight County senior hurling medals in the process.

As a result of excellent displays with Sarsfields he was called into the Tipperary panel around 1963 and had the distinction of captaining Tipperary to All Ireland honours in 1964 when Kilkenny were defeated in the final. He also won two National league medals before a serious knee injury ended a very promising career.

When his playing career ended he involved himself in the administrative side becoming secretary of the club and he also acted as a selector to various club teams. His brother Noel and his uncles John and Flor Coffey also had the distinction of winning All Ireland Senior medals.