Banquet 2015

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On Friday November 13th the Ulster GAA Writers Association (UGAAWA) held its annual Banquet and Awards Night in the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran. The UGAAWA is the only organisation which recognises all codes of the GAA for awards night and makes a presentation in each code. MC for the night was Sean Perry, RTE, and he guided the formalities through the programme smoothly and professionally. There was a big crowd representing all nine counties of Ulster and all enjoyed a great night with excellent food and service from the Great Northern, good music from ‘Itchy feet’, plenty of glitz and glamour and good company for a good chat and laugh. Conor McManus, who was unable to attend because of his commitment to the International Rules team, was named Male Footballer of the Year and his father, Frank, accepted the award on his behalf. Scotstown was nominated for the Cultural Award and when they were announced winners the award was accepted by Mackie and Pauline Rooney. The Communications award went to Pauric McGurn, the Fermanagh PRO. Personality of the Year was won by Malachy O'Rourke, Monaghan manager. The John McAviney Award for Services to the GAA was won by Jack Hannigan, Donegal and you would enjoy an interview which was played on the big screen and which you can access through HERE. Other awards were: Cormac McAnallen Award for Young Achiever went to Mark Bradley; Handball Award to Aisling Reilly; Camogie Award to Karen Keilt; Team of the Year went to Tyrone U21 team; Hurler of the Year was Damien Casey; Club of the Year went to Slaughneil; Female Footballer of the Year was won by Geraldine McLaughlin; and the Chairman's Award went to handballer, Paul Brady. Some of the awards were sponsored by business - Brendan McAree, representing MacAree Engineering, Monaghan; Frank McManus for Gormley uPVC, Clontibret, Monaghan; Dermot Maguire of Maguire Transport, Ballinoide, Monaghan and Padraig McEneaney of Celtic Pure, Monaghan. A number of businesses sponsored excdellent prizes for the Raffle which is held for a charity, and this year £1,200 was presented to CAUSE, which does so much for Mental health. The Main sponsor for UGAAWA is Quinn Building Products and the Association is delighted to have the Quinn name once again as sponsor. Other sponsors for awards are: Belleek Pottery, who sponsor the monthly Aawards; O'Neills Sportswear; Carllingford Design House; and 3Five2. The UGAAWA would like to express sincere thanks to all these sponsors, without whom the presentation would not be feasible. Also a big thanks to all who helped to make the night a great success and especially to all the patrons for attending. It was agreat mix of age groups and it was heartening to see so many young people enjoying the night together with many who have never missed a Banquet in the 28 years of its existence. Well done to Chairman, John Martin, and his team for organising a good night for all.

Padraig McEneaney of Celtic Pure presents the Camogie Award to Karen Kielt of Derry.

Ulster GAA vice-president Michael Hasson presents the Personality of the Year award to Monaghan team manager Malachy O'Rourke.

Gerry McLaughlin presents the John McAvinney Award for Services to the GAA to PJ McGowan who accepted it on behalf of 102 year old Jack Hannigan of Ballybofey, Donegal.

Conrad Cadden, on behalf of Quinn Building Products, presents Damien Casey with the Hurler of the Year award.

Ulster GAA Writers committee member John Campbell presents the Cormac McAnallen Award for Young Achiever of the Year to Mark Bradley of Tyrone.

Brendan McAree of sponsors McAree Engineering, Ballinode presents the Communications Award to Pauric McGurn from Fermanagh.


Joanne McNeill of of the 3fivetwo Group presents the Handball Award to Aisling Reilly of St Paul's Antrim.

Kieran Kennedy of O'Neill Sports presents the Team of the Year award to  of Tyrone Under 21 All Ireland Football winning team member Ciaran McGeary.

Eimear Gallagher who accepted the Ladies Senior Football award on behalf of Geraldine McLaughlin from Frank McManus who presented on behalf of sponsors Gormley UPVC Products Castleshane, Clontibret.

Quinn Building Products Project Director Denis Doogan presents the Club of the Year Award to  Slaughtneil Emmets.

Procurement Director of Quinn Building Products Donal O'Rourke presents the Male Footballer of the Year award to Frank McManus who accepted it on behalf of his son Conor

Ulster GAA Writers' chairman John Martin presents his Presidents Award  to multiple World Handball Champions Paul Brady from Cavan.

Ulster GAA Writers chairman John Martin presents a cheque for £1200  to Tanya McGeehan of the mental health charity CAUSE. This was the proceeds of the Ballot which was held during the night.

All images © JOHN MCILWAINE

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Dermot Maguire of Maguire Transport Ballinode presents the Cultural Award to Pauline and Mackey Rooney from Scotstown, Monaghan.

MC for the Banquet - Sean Perry