The best of Limerick sport was honoured at the Limerick Leader/Radisson Blu/Keanes Jewellers Sports Star of the year luncheon last Friday afternoon last.
Senior and Junior award winners from each month of 2017, were in attendance as the overall winners of the Senior Sports star and Junior Sports star of the year were announced.
The winner of the 2017 Senior Sports star award was Joy Neville. Limerick rugby referee Joy Neville enjoyed a trailblazing year in 2017. Neville was honoured with the World Rugby Referee of the Year accolade at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco in November. Former Grand Slam winner with Ireland Neville became the first woman to referee a European professional club fixture when taking charge of Bordeaux Bègles Challenge Cup pool fixture with Enisei-STM at Stade Chaban-Delmas in December. Neville also refereed the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup final last summer when it was staged in Ireland and took charge of a senior men’s international game and was also granted a professional contract by the IRFU.
Joy's mother, Mary and brother Gary were on hand to accept the award on Joy's behalf, as the international referee is currently in Australia refereeing on the World 7s circuit.
The other overall winner on the day was James Quinlan of Castleconnell Boat Club. The young rower won the Junior Sports star of the year award for 2017. Quinlan was part of the Junior men’s quadruple rowing crew that secured two gold medals for Ireland at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Belgium in Belgium last August and is sure to be in contention for selection for the World U-23 championships this summer in Poland.
The event had former Limerick football manager Liam Kearns as guest speaker.
Monthly Senior and Junior Winners 2017:
Roisin Upton (Hockey), Rebecca Barry (Hockey), Liam McAuliffe (Coursing), Keith Earls (Rugby), Colaiste na Trocaire (Soccer), Ciara Neville (Athletics), John the Baptist Community School (GAA), UL Bohemians Ladies RFC (Rugby), Na Piarsaigh U21 Hurlers (GAA), Limerick Camogie (GAA), Granagh N.S (Soccer), Tim Rice (Golf), Desmond League Boys Soccer (Soccer), Desmond League Girls Soccer (Soccer), Conor Murray (Rugby), James Quinlan (Rowing), Billy Lee (Horse Racing), Lisa O’Shea (Golf), Joy Neville (Rugby), U21 Limerick Hurlers (GAA), Adare Senior Footballers (GAA), Matt St. Amour (Basketball), Na Piarsaigh Senior Hurlers (GAA), Jake Prendergast (Soccer), Joseph Rushe (Soccer), Willie O’Connor (Darts) and Kevin Sheehy (Boxing)