The winners of the “Gerard McDonnell Contribution to Sport Award 2010”, which honours the late County Limerick mountaineer Gerard McDonnell, have been announced.
At a ceremony in Limerick County Hall today one of Limerick Camogie’s best known figures was named the overall winner of the second annual awards scheme in recognition of his contribution to the sport over the past three decades.
Noel O’Connor has been centrally involved in the development and promotion of Camogie throughout the county during the past thirty years. He is credited with helping to develop the game in West Limerick and is a founding member of Newcastle West Camogie Club. Mr. O’Connor also is a Camogie referee, community games coach in basketball and former coach of the county’s Under 16 Camogie side.
Other winners on the night were Stephen Maloney of the Drombanna Older Adults Programme (Coach Award) and John Clancy, Vice Chairperson of Ballingarry AFC (Administrator/Coach Award).
The Gerard McDonnell Contribution to Sport Award recognises contributions and achievements in sport by volunteers, participants and administrators throughout County Limerick. The awards scheme is an initiative of the County Limerick Local Sports Partnership (LSP), in conjunction with the Limerick County Development Board.
The awards function was hosted by Cllr. Richard Butler, Cathaoirleach, Limerick County Council and Chairperson of Limerick County Development Board.
Councillor Butler said: “I would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated for an award as well as pay tribute to the three main winners. In recognising the efforts of these nominees Limerick County Council and the family of the late Ger McDonnell are saluting their commitment to making a difference in their own respective communities.”
“Limerick’s proud sporting tradition is built on a strong volunteer ethos and sense of community. These traits are very evident in the work and contributions of all nominees in this awards scheme who contribute valuably to a various clubs and organisations in a range of sporting codes.
“It is especially appropriate that the announcement of these awards takes place just days after Limerick was formally declared European City of Sport for 2011. Limerick is proud of its sporting tradition and in particular the level of participation among communities in promoting involvement in sport and other recreational activities. Limerick Local Sports Partnership (LSP), in conjunction with the Limerick County Development Board, remains committed to developing initiatives that promote this sense of community spirit and volunteerism”, added the Cathaoirleach.
Commenting on the awards scheme LSP Coordinator Phelim Macken said: “The aim of the scheme is to award representatives of local clubs and organisations who in their outstanding efforts and persistence have made an excellent contribution to sport at a local level.
Mr. Macken added: “Among the factors that are considered by the Selection Committee is the nominee’s length of service to their respective organisation, along with their versatility, impact on the club or group, impact on the sport, personal contribution, overall merit and other qualities. By giving their time and effort to their respective sport, club and community, the three recipients of awards this year have displayed a steadfast commitment to keeping sport alive in their local area together with promoting volunteerism on a countywide basis.”
Members of Gerard McDonnell’s family were in attendance at this evening’s ceremony.
In August 2008 Gerard became the first Irish person to summit the world’s second highest mountain, K2. The native of Kilcornan was tragically killed while descending the Himalayan peak just hours after achieving his lifetime ambition. In the year since his tragic death, Ger has been hailed as a hero and awarded the Best of Explorers Web 2008 Award by the mountaineers’ websites, Explorers Web. Limerick County Council held a Civic Reception in his honour in March 2009.
The inaugural Gerard McDonnell Contribution to Sport Award was won in 2009 by Joe Cunningham, a rowing coach at Castleconnell Boat Club.
For further information on the Gerard McDonnell Contribution to Sport Award visit www.cllsp.ie or email email@example.com.
Dunphy Public Relations