John O'Connor, John Cooney, Bernie Hartigan, lifetime achievement award recipient, Eddie Wade and Enda Heffernan
SIXTEEN proud Limerick GAA men got a very special present this Christmas.
They were honoured by the Old Time Gaels of East Limerick at a presentation ceremony in the Millennium Centre, Caherconlish. The lifetime achievement award was the very deserving Limerick great, Bernie Hartigan.
The event was founded in 2003 by a committee of Eddie Wade, South Liberties; Ger O’Connell, Pallasgreen; Seamus Walsh, Ahane; Tony Hickey, Murroe-Boher; Michael Clarke, Cappamore and John Cooney, South Liberties. They have been joined by John Franklin, Knockane; Ger Mulcair, Caherconlish, and Danny Beary, Knockane.
The former county councillor Eddie Wade came up with the idea to acknowledge the contributions of gaels in the division who have given “lifelong, voluntary and dedicated service to the GAA in various capacities over the years".
Mr Wade said: “Many of these people worked quietly in the background in areas like administration, fundraising, field maintenance, refereeing and endless other important chores. Others have excelled on the field of play and brought honours to their clubs, division and county.”
He said with the oncoming spring they are all eagerly looking forward to the opening of a new playing season and a new optimism abounds within the county. Indeed, many of the attendees had to race from the Gaelic Grounds as they were watching Limerick play Tipperary.
The proud recipients were John Ryan, Ahane; Martin McDonagh, Ballybricken/Bohermore; Pat Hourigan, Caherline-Caherconlish; Noel Gleeson, Cappamore; Rodgie Ryan, Doon; John Crehan, Fedamore; Fr Willie Hennessy, Kilteely-Dromkeen; Denis Fitzgerald, Knockane; Thomas Ryan, Murroe-Boher; Ned Grace, Oola; Joe Franklin, Pallasgreen and Eamonn Dooley, South Liberties.
The Tom O’Brien personality award went to Donie Flynn, of Cappamore and Killeedy. Paddy Byrnes, South Liberties, received the Jimmy Butler Coffey referee award. Special merit award was given to Seamus McElligott, Ballybricken-Bohermore. While the lifetime achievement award was accepted by Bernie Hartigan, South Liberties and Old Christians.
The Old Time Gaels thanked St Ailbes Credit Union for their sponsorship and long-time support of the awards night. They say without their support it would be difficult to promote such an occasion and honour these great men.