Ladies and Gentlemen,


As Chairman of Omagh District Council, I am delighted to welcome you all to the Council offices this evening.  I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to Paddy Hunter in whose honour this evening’s reception is being held.  Paddy, you are most welcome.

Tonight’s reception affords me the opportunity to publicly congratulate you, Paddy, on your magnificent achievement in winning the inaugural Micheál O Muircheartaigh National Sports Commentator of the Year Award.  The competition is endorsed by the great man himself and is organised in conjunction with the Sam Maguire Festival in Dunmanway.  Both these men are synonymous with the GAA.  Micheal O Muircheartaigh assumed the mantle of the voice of Gaelic Games upon the passing of the great Michael O’Hehir and he has carried on the great tradition of bringing the game to life through the medium of radio.


Local radio does a tremendous job all over the country bringing news and sport to the listenership and the Q network makes a great contribution to that.  As sports editor, Paddy, you have brought a wealth of knowledge to the Station covering a range of sports but it is in the presentation and commentary on Gaelic Games in which you excel.  Together with your trusty sidekick, Noel McGinn, the Q101 commentary is insightful, accurate and at all times, entertaining.  It is this mix which greatly adds to your commentary, Paddy, and your award is real recognition of your approach to commentating.


On the rare occasion that I am unable to attend the County matches, I look forward to listening to your commentary and you have developed an uncanny ability of enabling your listeners to almost visualise the game, a unique ability mastered by both Michael O’Hehir and Micheal O’Muircheartaigh.  One of your other great traits is the integrity and honesty which permeates your commentary.  

        

Since Q101 went on air in 2002, the quality of GAA coverage and indeed that of other sports has changed significantly and I believe Paddy, that your journalism has made a large contribution to the development.  I caught some of your interviews with Irish Cricket captain, William Porterfield, during the World 20/20 Competition, and the breadth of your knowledge is clearly not confined to matters GAA.


In concluding, could I on behalf of the Council, congratulate you on this superb achievement.  As Micheal O’Muircheartaigh said at the Awards Presentation, “you have brought the first major title to Tyrone this year and there may be more to follow”.  How prophetic those words were as in the weeks that followed both the Sam Maguire and Tom Markham cups were brought to the Red Hand County. With the Tyrone Hurlers having already secured the Lory Meagher Cup, hopefully, come the third Sunday in September, you will be once more broadcasting from Jones Road, Dublin  as Tyrone secure there first ever All Ireland Senior Gaelic Football Championship two in a row.


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