Sean Gael Awards 2013
The Tipperary Star, November 14, 2013
The Sean Gael awards will be presented in the Dome, Semple Stadium on Sunday, November 17. This is the eleventh year of the presentations and thirty-two people, eight from each division, who have given significant service to the Gaelic Athletic Association over their lifetimes, will receive due recognition for their contributions.
The fairness of these awards is that they recognise all kinds of contributions and there is no discrimination in favour of any one kind. The result is that while great hurlers and footballers, administrators and sponsors, prominent personalities and notable clubmen are recognised, so also are people who have contributed in lesser and hidden ways but without whose contributions clubs could not function.
While the ranks of the recipients are predominantly male, there are equal opportunities for females to be given recognition. The predominance of males is a reflection of the way the vast number of G.A.A. clubs were run fifty years ago, when women played a much smaller role that they do today.. It is, therefore, pleasant to include in this year's group of recipients, two women from neighbouring parishes, who have made notable contributions to their clubs.
Mary Kenny of Borrisileigh has been involved in Scór since the early seventies. She participated in set dancing and ballad groups at senior level, winning several North titles. She later organised Scór na nÓg in the club for many years and prepared children for participation in all Scór competitions. She also adjudicated Scór competitions at every level up to and including All-Ireland.
In a different way Tess McGrath of Loughmore-Castleiney is another worthy recipient. She is head of one of the great GAA families in Tipperary and her influence and that of her late husband has contributed in no small way in bringing this about. Their family of five boys and four girls and their families are immersed in every facet of our great association and have been very influential in achieving success at club and on the National stage.
One of the most interesting recipients in this year's list is Micheal O'Meara, who was secretary of the organising committee since the establishment of the awards and who was the presenter-in-chief of the awards every year since them. Micheal's contribution to the G.A.A. has been varied and extensive and he is most deserving of an award.
There are two standout hurlers in this year's list, Tony Wall of Thurles Sarsfields and Peter O'Sullivan of Cashel. Tony had a glorious career with his club and Tipperary, including captaining the latter to All-Ireland glory in 1958. His book on Hurling was ground-breaking at the time, providing an authoritative voice on the various aspects of instruction and training of the game.
And who will ever forget Peter O'Sullivan's defiant performance, when he replaced John O'Donoghue in the 1970 Munster final, which inspired Tipperary to within an inch of success. Unfortunately his fine goalkeeping career was curtailed by a severe works injury in 1972.
Less spectacular but equally important has been the contribution of Bernie Colclough of Inane Rovers. A native of Westmeath, he arrived in Roscrea in 1963 to set up his supermarket business. He soon immersed himself in the fortunes of the Inane Rovers club, acting as coach and selector for many years as well as contributing with other advice and help. His sponsorship has been vital to the club's survival. Equally one might mention Tommy O'Sullivan of Mullinahone, 'who did nearly all his hard work within the club in the background and out of the limelight'.
Handballers as well
Two handballers, Michael 'Boysie' Hogan of Nenagh Eire Og and Paddy Doherty of Carrick-on-Suir are included in this year's list. They add to the variety and diversity of the Gaelic Athletic Association, as do all the recipients in this year's list of awards.
As is customary at these awards, the committee invite a well-known personality to make the presentations. This adds to the prestige of the occasion as well as giving due recognition to the value of the contributions to the G.A.A. made by the recipients. This year's well-known personality with be Micheal Ó Muircheartaigh.
The members of the committee are as follows: chairman – John Costigan, secretary - Seamus J. King, Sean Nugent, Noel Morris, Seamus McCarthy.