Scotland GAA rewards community stalwarts

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THE GAA community in Scotland gathered at the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh for the annual awards honouring those who have worked in the association through the last year.

Consul General Jane McCulloch welcomed guests from across the GAA, with all clubs represented and many supporters of the association in attendance, and spoke of the important impact the GAA continues to have in Scotland and the role it has played in informing the bilateral review currently being undertaken by the Scottish and Irish governments.

Scotland GAA Chairman Peter Mossey introduced the awards, and outlined the many great achievements made by Gaels in Scotland over the last year—none more notable than the victory by the men’s intercounty squad, whose triumph in the British Championship was honoured with the presence of the coveted trophy.

That achievement was also marked with the award presented to manager Diarmuid McNulty, He was named as Manager of the Year, and although he was unable to attend the event there was approving applause throughout the room as Mr Mossey received the award on his behalf.

Jen Treacy of Glasgow Gaels was named as County Volunteer of the Year in honour of her tireless work on behalf of Scotland GAA, functioning as the driving force which has helped transform the Scotland County Board and bring in a new era for the county.

Her efforts are all the more impressive given that she has recently become a mother, with her young son Jimmy Joe and husband Jimmy—manager at Glasgow Gaels—joining her on the evening.

Club Volunteer of the Year went to Thomas Street of Sands MacSwineys, who—in addition to playing for his own club—has dedicated much of his free time to coaching underage footballers and passing on his experience in the game.

Having come through the underage system in Coatbridge he was honoured for his efforts in providing coaching and assisting in the many opportunities available to those young Gaelic footballers following in his footsteps.

The final award also went to a Coatbridge volunteer, with Noreen Hughes of Coatbridge Davitts being recognised for her input into the GAA through the award for Contribution to Irish Culture in Scotland.

The event also saw two special presentations made, with James McKeague of Creagh Concrete celebrated for his support for the GAA in Scotland. His sponsorship has allowed the county to set itself on a more secure financial footing and compete with other counties in Britain.

Peter Mossey also accepted an award on behalf of his club, Dalriada, as they mark their 30th year. He concluded the event by telling the story of the club’s history and the three phases they have experienced—early growth and success, decline and regeneration—reassuring others present that even in times of uncertainty there are always opportunities for clubs to flourish once again.

dan@theirishvoice.com

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