The Monaghan GAA Annual Awards night, sponsored by The Northern Standard and R&S Printers took place in the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan last Saturday.
Among the guests were Ard-Stiúrthóir Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Páraic Duffy; recently retired legendary RTÉ commentator Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh; Scotstown-native TG4 broadcaster Gráinne McElwain; and the 1985 Monaghan senior football team, who won the Ulster Senior Football Championship and the National Football League. The Monaghan senior hurlers, who won the National Hurling League Division Four in 2010, received their medals on the night, as did the Ulster championship-winning 3-in-a-row county vocational schools football team.
Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Páraic Duffy and county chairman Paul Curran all addressed the crowd, while Tommy McArdle gave an entertaining introduction of the 1985 team. Gráinne McElwain introduced the award-winners and she also interviewed Hall-of-Fame inductees Benny Mone and Jim O’Hanlon.
The Senior Footballer of the Year award went to Magheracloone midfielder Gavin Doogan, who played a key role in his team’s run to the SFC Final. Doohamlet’s Ciarán McManus won the Intermediate Footballer of the Year award for his performances in Doohamlet’s successful IFC campaign, which took them all the way to the Ulster final. Declan Larkin was named as Junior Footballer of the Year after he starred for Corduff in their JFC run. Colin Walshe took the Young Footballer award in recognition of his excellent year, both with Monaghan and Doohamlet. Currin stalwart Dick Clerkin accepted the Monaghan Supporters Club Player of the Year award. The Senior Hurler of the Year award went to Séamus Loftus, who captained Inniskeen to three trophies in 2010, while his clubmate Martin Murphy took the Young Hurler honour.
Lavina Connolly from Latton won the Ladies Football award, while Clontibret’s Shauna Finnegan, who helped Monaghan to All-Ireland Junior glory last year, took the Camogie award. Terry Kiernan of Carrickmacross won the Handball award after he won the Monaghan and Ulster championships in 2010 before going on to reach the All-Ireland 40×20 final.
Carl Laverty was presented with the Club Official award, recognising his 50 years of unbroken service with the Oram club, while the Youth Official award went to hard-working Scotstown man Dermot Maguire. Dermot’s club Scotstown won the Club of the Year award thanks to their achievements at a range of levels, particularly in underage football.
The Youth Achievement (Football) award went to Killanny, who enjoyed a year of great success at underage level, while Castleblayney won the Youth Achievement (Hurling) honour. Benny Mone, Clontibret, and Jim O’Hanlon, Ballybay, were inducted into the Monaghan GAA Hall of Fame. Benny Mone won four Senior Football Championship medals with Clontibret and he also represented Monaghan and Ulster before taking up refereeing after his retirement from playing. Ballybay’s Jim O’Hanlon also won four county titles as well as playing for Monaghan for several years. The inaugural Lifetime Achievement award went to Liam McGrath, who managed Castleblayney to an amazing 12 SFC titles and 20 finals in 23 years.
Also receiving awards on the night were the referees who took charge of various county finals in 2010. They were as follows: Dermot Boylan, Killanny (SFC Final); Darren McQuillan, Castleblayney (SFC Final Replay); Bran Finnegan, Donaghmoyne (IFC Final); Gerard Treanor, Truagh (JFC Final); Martin McMahon, Aughnamullen (JFC Final Replay); Noel Mullaney, Clontibret (SHC Final); and Stephen Hagan, Seán McDermotts (Youth Referee).
The Northern Standard/R&S Printers Monaghan GAA Award Winners 2010:
Hall of Fame: Jim O’Hanlon and Benny Mone
Senior Footballer of the Year: Gavin Doogan
Intermediate Footballer of the Year: Ciarán McManus
Junior Footballer of the Year: Declan Larkin
Young Footballer of the Year: Colin Walshe
Supporters Club Player of the Year: Dick Clerkin
Senior Hurler of the Year: Séamus Loftus
Young Hurler of the Year: Martin Murphy
Ladies Footballer of the Year: Lavina Connolly
Camogie Player of the Year: Shauna Finnegan
Handballer of the Year: Terry Kiernan
Club Official of the Year: Carl Laverty
Youth Official of the Year: Dermot Maguire
Club of the Year: Scotstown
Youth Achievement (Football): Killanny
Youth Achievement (Hurling): Castleblayney
Lifetime Achievement: Liam McGrath