September 2009 is a big month for Declan McKenna as the Orchard County teenager leads his county into the All-Ireland MFC final against Mayo.

However, it’s to last month that we looked back when the Armagh Harps’ six-footer played a major role in his county’s under-18 championship wins over Kildare and Kerry – performances that have earned him our Quinn Insurance Merit Award for August.

“That is fantastic,” said Declan (18) when told of the honour. “I wasn’t all that aware of the Monthly Merit Award but to get it is great.”

During the victories over Kildare and Kerry, McKenna constantly burst out of defence to set his forwards in motion. His anticipation and knack of breaking up opposition attacks were key to Armagh’s victories and many of the winners’ scores were as a direct result of his accurate distribution.

Declan McKenna gets the monthly award ahead of Down’s Niall McPartland who shone brightly against Dublin in the minor quarter-final and, even in defeat by Mayo, was also outstanding.  In the running, too, was Mairead Cooper who won the ‘Player of the Match’ as Antrim defeated Derry in the All-Ireland Ladies’ Junior Football Championship semi-final.

The winner, an All-Ireland handball medallist, received his award of an UGAAWA Sports voucher, an engraved Belleek China Vase, specially designed silver cuff links from Omeath jeweller Garrett Mallon and training gear from O’Neill’s Sports at a presentation in Quinn’s Corner on Wednesday, September 9. Declan McCaughey, Commercial Department Quinn Insurance, made the presentation.

He will also receive two tickets and overnight accommodation for the UGAAWA annual banquet at the Slieve Russell Hotel on Friday, November 20.


Armagh Minor Football captain Declan McKenna, the winner of Quinn Insurance/ Ulster GAA Writers’ Merit Award for August along with Declan McCaughey Quinn Insurance, Armagh PRO Joe Jordan, Jerry Quinn, Chairman Ulster GAA Writers, Youth Officer James Clifford, John McConville, Chairman Armagh Harps and Conor Moore, Treasurer.

Picture: Michael Cullen.

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