Tipperary GAA honoured its ‘grey generation’ at the Sean Ghael awards in Thurles on Sunday
Thirty two of the premier GAA men in the Premier County were honoured by the County Board on Sunday afternoon last in The Dome at Semple Stadium as the tenth annual Sean Ghael awards were carried off with great aplomb.
This event is one of the highlights of the social calendar in GAA circles in Tipperary as it recognises, and honours, the outstanding service and contribution of so many, over 70 years of age, to the organisation they love, starting out with their club, perhaps moving on to county, provincial and national acclaim, but ultimately returning to their roots in their club again.
And, the so called ‘grey generation’ were out in force for the awards which are richly deserved and which brought to 363, the number honoured since inception back in 2003 on the initiative of the late John Moloney (Galtee Rovers).
The GAA in Tipperary is as strong as it is because of the efforts of people like the 32 honoured on Sunday. And the committee charged with responsibility for hosting the Sean Ghael awards led by John Costigan and Micheal O’Meara, and also featuring Seamus King, Noel Morris, Pat Moroney and Seamus McCarthy saw fit this year to fete eight from each division in Tipperary, as well as their guests.
The venture is supported in a financial sense by the County Board, the four divisional Boards, GAA Supporters Club and the Friends of Tipperary Football and the 2012 awards honoured hurling, football, handball, Scor, cultural, officials, administrators and more in a most comprehensive and very worthy manner.
Each of the recipients was welcomed to accept their presentations and with Mr Jimmy O’Gorman of Lismore – former Chairman of the Munster Council – as guest on the evening there was a warm reception for each as the citations were read out.
Speakers at the event included Jimmy O’Gorman; Archbishop Dermot Clifford – himself a past recipient of the award ; Chairman of the County Board, Sean Nugent; Chairman of the organising committee John Costigan; Secretary of the committee Micheal O’Meara; Seamus King; and Fr Seamus Gardiner, one of the recipients.
The overwhelming message coming loud and clear from the evening was the sense of appreciation for all the work done by the recipients – of course they don’t regard it as work. To the majority it is a labour of love and they would do it all over again if they had the time over.
Sean Nugent encouraged all the recipients to continue their love of, and contribution to, the GAA in their clubs and county stating, “It doesn’t matter age you are, you can still make an invalubale contribution to your club and to the GAA. Your voice should continue to be listened to and your help and advice should continue to be heard, appreciated and taken on board.”
The formalities of the evening concluded with the Chairman lifting the roof of the Dome with a rendition of Slievenamon. But, the chatting, regaling of stories and recalling of events went on for some time afterwards.