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Full-time for UGAAWA: In 1988 two journalists from Ulster decided to set up an association of GAA writers and photographers to increase GAA promotion and to improve conditions for its members. They were soon joined by others and they began acknowledging excellence and accomplishment in all aspects of the GAA. A Monthly Award was presented and Annual Awards in 12 different aspects of the GAA were awarded and presented at an annual Awards night, which, at it height, attracted over 600 to the event. Things have changed over the years since then but the UGAAWA (Ulster GAA Writers Association) continued its work. In recent times newspapers are struggling for survival, costs have increased, staff GAA journalists are fewer in number, social media has had a major impact, sponsorship for the prizes is more difficult to obtain, many organisations and clubs are running Awards Night and so the UGAAWA has decided to cease operations. The final event for the association took place in the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran, on Friday night February 21st where the 2019 Annual awards were handed out. It was a great gathering of Ulster Gaels representing the Ulster Council, managers, players and administrators from all nine counties. It was a lovely night, a very interesting night but one tinged with sadness at the demise of the UGAAWA. MC for the occasion was John P Graham and he and the Chairman, John Martin, expressed thanks to all who had supported the organisation over the years and special words of thanks to the businesses who sponsored the prizes over the 32 years. Malachy O’Rourke was the winner of the Personality of the Year. Male Footballer of the Year was Cathal McShane, who will now be out of football for some time as a result of a serious ankle iinjury on Sunday. Guest speakers included Mickey Harte, Oliver Galligan, Uachtarán Chomhairle Uladh, Brian McEniff and the original founder of the UGAAWA Kevin Hughes. See more below
The 2019 winners were: Cormac McAnallen Award to Young Achiever: Eimear Smith; Communications Award: Eugene McConnell; Cultural Award: Omagh; Handball Award: Charlie Shanks; Camogie Award: Shannon Graham; Team of the Year: St. Michael’s College; Hurler of the Year: Gerald Bradley; Club of the Year: Slaughtneil; Female Footballer of the Year: Geraldine McLoughlin; Personality of the Year: Malachy O’Rourke; John McAviney Award for Services to the GAA: Mickey Moran; Male Footballer of the Year: Cathal McShane; Chairman’s Award: Kilcoo. Sponsors included: Belleek Pottery; O’Neill Sportswear; Quinn Building Products; Garrett Mallon Jewellery
In 1988 two journalist, Kevin Hughes and Adrian Logan, decided to set up an organisation which would help to promote Gaelic games and the GAA generally and also work for improved conditions for journalists and photographers at game venues. Very soon the idea caught on and Brian Houston from BASS became a very supportive sponsor and the membership of the Ulster GAA Writers Association (UGAAWA) increased. The monthly meeting and presentations were centred in Quinns Corner, Ballygawley, and the Annual Awards were presented at a major Gala Function held in the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran. In its hay-day it attracted over 600 to the Gall Ball and could have doubled that number, demand for tickets was so high. A unique feature of the UGAAWA award was that all disciplines in the GAA were involved and prizes were awarded in Football (Ladies and Men); Handball, Camogie, Hurling, Communications, Services to the GAA, Young Achiever of the Year, Culture, Club of the Year, Team of the Year, Personality of the Year and a Chairman’s Award. The Services to the GAA award was named the John McAviney Award as the late John had been a very active member from the beginning and had served as Chairman for a number of years. The Young Achiever of the Year award was named after the late Cormac McAnallen and his parents were usually there to present the award. When BASS moved on a new sponsor was sought and Sean Quinn was a very generous supporter for a number of years. He was followed by Quinn Building Products who have been main sponsor for the past number of years. Belleek Pottery, O’Neill’s Sportswear and Carlingford Design (Garrett Mallon) were terrific sponsors over all the years. I was proud to be a member and was Secretary for a decade or so. John P Graham was there from the beginning and made a huge contribution throughout its existence. However, like everything else, life moves on and other organisations began presenting similar awards and the year-end saw county, provincial, club and media awards of a similar nature. People can get too much of a good thing and so after 32 years the UGAAWA was dissolved at a final Gala event in the Great Northern on Friday, February 21st 2020. The Annual Awards were presented for the last time and the UGAAWA bowed out gracefully but with nostalgia and sadness. There were no Monaghan winners on the final night though, and he could be called a Monaghan man for what he achieved, Malachy O’Rourke was named Personality of the Year and well deserved too. Over the years though Monaghan has had many winners in many of the GAA life and we name them: Annual Winners for Monaghan -- Communications: JP Graham 1989; Gary Carville 1996; Sean McKenna, 2002; Siobhan McQuillan 2010; Noel Duffy 18. Cultural: Scotstown 2015. Services (John McAviney) Paddy O’Rourke 1997; Seamus McCluskey 2010. Young Achiever (Cormac McAnallen): Aaron Mulligan 2008. Chairman’s Award: John McAviney 2005; Geraldine Clarke 2018. Female Footballer: Margaret Kierans 1996, Jenny Greenan 1997, Angela Larkin 1998; Edel Byrne 2002 and 2008; Therese McNally 2011; Niamh Hughes 2012; Catriona McConnell 2013; Ciara McAnespie 2016. Referee: Pat McEneaney 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2009. Club Award: Truagh 1995, 2014: Clontibret 1997. Team Award: Donaghmoyne Ladies 2016. Personality: Seamus McEneaney 2007; Darren Hughes, 2013; Malachy O’Rourke 2015, 2019, 2020; Francie Coleman 2016, 2017. Male Footballer: Tommy Freeman 2007; Conor McManus 2015; Rory Beggan 2018. Monthly Awards for Monaghan. Nudie Hughes July 1988; Fergus Caulfield Nov. 1989; Ray McCarron May 1993; Michael McCormick June 1995; Pat McEneaney Sept. 1996; Edel Byrne Oct 1997; Declan Smith Mar. 1998; Sean McCague April 1999; Enda Keenan March 2001; Edwin Murphy Oct 2001; Paul Finlay April 2003; Tommy Freeman April 2005; Michael Lennon Jan 2006; Tommy Freeman Jun 2007; Mary Kirke April 2009; Ciara McAnespie Sept. 2011; Darren Hughes Feb 2012, July 2013; Caoimhe Mohan April 2012; Dick Clerkin May 2012, May 2015 ; Catriona McConnell Nov 2012; Drew Wylie June 2013; Adam Treanor Jan 2014; Malachy O’Rourke April 2014, July 2015; Conor McManus April 2015, Feb 2016; Linda Martin Dec 2015; Paula Cunningham Aug. 2016; Francie Coleman Oct 2016.
All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Full-time for UGAAWA: In 1988 two journalists from Ulster decided to set up an association of GAA writers and photographers to increase GAA promotion and to improve conditions for its members. They were soon joined by others and they began acknowledging excellence and accomplishment in all aspects of the GAA. A Monthly Award was presented and Annual Awards in 12 different aspects of the GAA were awarded and presented at an annual Awards night, which, at it height, attracted over 600 to the event. Things have changed over the years since then but the UGAAWA (Ulster GAA Writers Association) continued its work. In recent times newspapers are struggling for survival, costs have increased, staff GAA journalists are fewer in number, social media has had a major impact, sponsorship for the prizes is more difficult to obtain, many organisations and clubs are running Awards Night and so the UGAAWA has decided to cease operations. The final event for the association took place in the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran, on Friday night February 21st where the 2019 Annual awards were handed out. It was a great gathering of Ulster Gaels representing the Ulster Council, managers, players and administrators from all nine counties. It was a lovely night, a very interesting night but one tinged with sadness at the demise of the UGAAWA. MC for the occasion was John P Graham and he and the Chairman, John Martin, expressed thanks to all who had supported the organisation over the years and special words of thanks to the businesses who sponsored the prizes over the 32 years. Malachy O’Rourke was the winner of the Personality of the Year. Male Footballer of the Year was Cathal McShane, who will now be out of football for some time as a result of a serious ankle iinjury on Sunday. Guest speakers included Mickey Harte, Oliver Galligan, Uachtarán Chomhairle Uladh, Brian McEniff and the original founder of the UGAAWA Kevin Hughes. See more below
The 2019 winners were: Cormac McAnallen Award to Young Achiever: Eimear Smith; Communications Award: Eugene McConnell; Cultural Award: Omagh; Handball Award: Charlie Shanks; Camogie Award: Shannon Graham; Team of the Year: St. Michael’s College; Hurler of the Year: Gerald Bradley; Club of the Year: Slaughtneil; Female Footballer of the Year: Geraldine McLoughlin; Personality of the Year: Malachy O’Rourke; John McAviney Award for Services to the GAA: Mickey Moran; Male Footballer of the Year: Cathal McShane; Chairman’s Award: Kilcoo. Sponsors included: Belleek Pottery; O’Neill Sportswear; Quinn Building Products; Garrett Mallon Jewellery