Tipperary hurler Noel McGrath has been named as the Tipperary Person of the Year for 2015 by the Tipperary Association Dublin.
Ardfinnan scientist Dr John Ryan has been nominated to the Hall of Fame and both will be honoured at the Tipp Association awards ceremony in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel on Saturday, March 5.
In spring 2015, the Tipperary and national hurling world was shocked to hear the news that Loughmore/Castleiney player Noel McGrath had been diagnosed with cancer.
Tipp Association president Liam Myles said this week that the dignified way in which he handled his adversity, the courageous way he publicly acknowledged his illness and more so the way he highlighted testicular cancer and the need for males – young and old – to be monitored and checked sets him apart as a Tipperary person in 2015.
Initially, and understandably, he asked for privacy for himself and his family and the time and space to be allowed sort out his trauma. The respect in which he is held was reflected in how well that request was adhered to.
Later on and as he was undergoing treatment he showed great character in thinking of others worse afflicted. He supported the Movember Foundation and became an ambassador for the foundation and, through the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) gave of his time and energy to support the Childhood Cancer Foundation.
In these roles and in a number of public appearances he has made a huge contribution to help break the “taboo” that has traditionally existed around male cancer and testicular cancer in particular.
Despite his cancer treatment he returned to the Tipperary senior hurling squad and the reception – from all sides - he received on his introduction in the All-Ireland semi-final against Galway will live in the memory of all those watching that game and showed the respect in which Noel is held.
“Noel showed all that is good about human life when faced with a challenge and he epitomised what the true Tipperary character is about”, Mr Myles said.
Hall of Fame nominee
Dr John Ryan is honoured for his lifetime contribution to and achievements in the field of soil science, education and humanity throughout the world, working to improve the lives of people living in some of the most arid regions of the world and for his contribution to agriculture among the poorest farming communities.
He worked in Beirut for 11 years at the height of the Lebanse war and spent twenty years in Aleppo in Syria working in agronomy research and with the poorest farmers.
He has been recognised with many prestigious awards.
Tickets for the awards ceremony available from Pat Ryan, 11 Foxfield Grove, Raheny, Dublin 5. Tel.: 087 6376663. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org