Tributes paid to Tipperary sporting stars who shone brightly all over the world

Eamon Lacey

Reporter:

Eamon Lacey

Email:

elacey@nationalist.ie

Annerville Awards

Above - Brian Fox (Gaelic Football Award winner); Amy Kennedy (Camogie), Helen Maher (representing her son Padraic Maher, Hurling) and Aisling McCarthy (Ladies Football) at the Annerville Awards at the Clonmel Park Hotel.

Glowing tributes were paid to Tipperary sporting stars who excelled in their chosen fields during 2017 at the presentation of the Tipperary United Sports Panel's Anverville Awards at the Clonmel Park Hotel.

Vice-Chairman Muiris Walsh said the night was a celebration of everything good about Tipperary sports men and women and he congratulated the award winners, as the prestigious prizes were presented to the high achievers in twenty one categories by Pat Morrissey, who represented Bulmers, who sponsor the event.

Also in attendance was Eoin O'Gorman, Bulmers General Manager.

Above -  Cllr. Roger Kennedy, Vice-Chairman of Tipperary County Council; Pat Morrissey, Operations Director of Bulmers; Knocknagow Award winner Donie Nealon; and Muiris Walsh, Vice-Chairman of the Tipperary United Sports Panel at the presentation of the Annerville Sports Awards at the Clonmel Park Hotel on Saturday night.

Muiris Walsh said everybody associated with the awards was saddened by the death of the Lifetime  Achievement Award winner Jim Kennedy just a week before the ceremony.

"An irreplaceable piece of ladies football has been chipped away. He was the embodiment of making a community better for everyone", said Muiris Walsh, who  described the late Jim Kennedy as one of the people whose vision and passion for ladies football resulted in the massive development and popularity of the sport as it stands today.

"Ladies football is the fastest growing sport in the country and that is in no small way thanks to the devotion of people like Jim Kennedy ", he said.

Above - Anthony Tobin (representing his brother, Athletics Award winner Sean Tobin); Basketball winner Grainne Dwyer; Hockey winner Caoimhe Perdue and Angling Award winner Sean Maher at the Annerville awards presentation.

He thanked Jim's five daughters for attending the event and said the members of the Sports Panel were delighted that they were able to accept the award on behalf of their late father.

The vice-chairman also paid tribute to the late Jimmy Cooney, a much-loved, respected and long-serving member of the Panel  who passed away in 2017. He thanked Bulmers for their continued generous sponsorship of the event.

He said the sporting achievements of all of the award winners  had filled Tipperary people all over the world with great pride.

It was an honour for the Panel, he said, to recognise the wonderful people "who find prosperity in sport".

"We don't have to look too far to find our heroes", he told the guests.

Pat Morrissey, Bulmers, said the company was involved in sponsorship partnerships with Celtic football club and rugby in Scotland but described the Annerville Awards as the "jewel in the crown".

He praised the recipients and said their achievemments had been a source of great joy to the people of Tipperary.

Above -  Special Achievement Award winners Deirdre Crowe and Ned Crowe (both Carrick-on-Suir); Orla Hogan and Sheila Gregan (both Nenagh) at the Annerville Awards. 

Roger Kennedy, Vice-Chairman of Tipperary County Council, said it was fitting that such an awards structure existed to honour the sports stars of Tipperary.

He congratulated the winners, describing them as "role models on our doorstep" that provided inspiration to others to get involved with sport, something that Tipperary County Council, through Tipperary Sports Partnership, was striving to promote.

Seamus McCarthy, United Sports Panel member, who acted as MC on the night, thanked Bulmers for continuing the longest sporting sponsorship in the country and thanked the sports stars for enthralling Tipperary people as a result of their  wonderful sporting achievements all over the world during 2017.

Below -  Niall Lynch (representing his son Daire Lynch, Rowing); Zach Murphy (Tennis) and Aisling Keller (Rowing) at the Annerville Awards.