When it comes to the closing stages of the All-Ireland championships, sometimes minors, no matter what they have achieved, are forgotten about. However, we, in the Ulster GAA Writers’ Association, like to think that we keep tabs on all people in GAA affairs so for our Quinn Insurance/UGAAWA Merit Award for August 2010 we honour teenager RONAN O’NEILL.

The Omagh St Enda’s footballer doesn’t really need an introduction as he has been turning in storming performances with his club for some years at underage levels. Last winter, he was one of the stars of the Omagh U18 team that won the St Paul’s organised Ulster Minor Football Championship.

Bigger and better things were to come, of course, and Ronan now finds himself preparing for the All-Ireland MFC final this month against Cork. Tyrone’s victory over Mayo in the semi-final was a personal triumph for the CBS sixth former as he hit home 1-4 and won the ‘Man-of-the-Match’ award.

“I never thought that I would be in the running for the UGAAWA award,” enthused Ronan. “It is good to see people looking to the minors as we put in as much effort as senior players. It is a boost before the All-Ireland final.”

To win the award for August, Ronan had some stout opposition to overcome as Down seniors also marched into the Sam Maguire Cup final with Calum King in the running for the award. James McCartan’s management of Down was also noted but there was no doubt about who the winner of the award should be.

Ronan is presented with his award with Damian Harvey, Tyrone PRO; Seamus Hannigan, St. Enda’s Club chairman; Liam Morris, Vice-Chairman of St. Enda’s Club and Oliver O’Neill, Ronan’s father.

Ronan’s parents, Oliver and Joanne O’Neill, are pictured with him as he is presented with his August UGAAWA Merit Award by Ronan McCabe, representing Quinn Insurance.

All photographs: © Peadar McMahon


Ronan McCabe, Quinn Insurance, and John P Graham, Chairman of the UGAAWA present the August Merit Award winner, Ronan O’Neill, with his trophy.

Pic: © Peadar McMahon

Picture above shows Ronan McCabe, representing Quinn Insurance and John P. Graham, Chairperson UGAAWA, presenting Ronan O’Neill with his award. Also in picture are other members of the UGAAWA - Kevin Kelly, Matt Fitzpatrick, John Martin, Secretary UGAAWA; Paddy Hunter, Assistant secretary UGAAWA.

At a function in Quinn’s Corner on Monday, September 6 Ronan was presented with his award by Ronan McCabe, Private Lines Assistant Manager for Quinn Insurance. The winner gets an engraved Belleek China vase, specially designed silver cuff links by Omeath Jeweller Garrett Mallon, training gear from O’Neill International Sports, a UGAAWA Sports Voucher and two tickets plus overnight accommodation for our banquet at Slieve Russell Hotel on Friday, November 19.