Shane Barrett, Blarney Hurling Club, with Finbarr Mc Carthy and Ton Tobin, Rochestown Park Hotel.

Sports awards are back with a bang in Cork

It’s been awhile, 16 months to be exact, but the 96FM/C103 GAA Sport Star of the Month awards returned this week with a socially distanced presentation to three worthy recipients.

Given that it’s been a totally different few months since the last presentation took place - St Michaels Tadgh Deasy was the January 2020 winner - the organisers have adapted to the new circumstances in which everyone now finds themselves in.

To take into account that there has been several months without games, this year’s awards in, association with the Rochestown Park Hotel, will embrace the latter months of 2020 and the coming months of this season, which has thankfully got underway for county and now clubs in recent weeks.

The first of the reinvented awards went to Tracey Kennedy, former Chairperson of the Cork County Board whose three-year term ended in December.

It was in recognition of Tracey becoming the first female to reach that position in Cork.

Tracey was delighted to be honoured: “It’s a lovely surprise to receive this award and my thanks to the joint sponsors for this and both have and continue to be great supporters of Cork GAA.”

The second presentation went to Blarney’s Shane Barrett for his outstanding contribution to his club’s win in the County Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship.

Shane also captained Cork to win the Munster Under 20 Hurling Championship in December, but the club win brought great joy.

He said: “It was fantastic and after a little blip in the first round we really kicked on and the win in the final was extra special, and now it’s great to be looking forward to playing senior when the club championship starts in August.”

Blackrock’s win over old rival Glen Rovers in a thrilling senior final was acknowledged with Alan Connolly honoured for his part in that victory which ended a long wait for the famed Seán Óg Murphy Cup to return to the ‘Rockie’s.

Alan said it was great feeling to win the biggest prize in Cork hurling: “Fantastic really especially as it’s been a while since we won it, and to win such a great final was extra special.”

As for the goals he scored, a trait he has maintained on his elevation to the Cork panel, he said: “It’s always nice to get goals, but credit the lads around me that made it easier for me.”

Like Shane, Alan was a member of the Cork under 20 hurling team who have an All Ireland Final to look forward to in July as they await the winners of the Leinster Final between Galway and Dublin.

Tom Tobin, Rochestown Park Hotel, and Kieran Mc Geary, 96FM/C103, were delighted that the awards were once again back up and running and looking forward to a return to normality in terms of a formal lunch in the coming months.

Kieran paid tribute to the Rochestown Park Hotel for their continued support of these prestigious awards even more so giving the difficulties that the hospitality section has faced in the past year or so.

It is expected that a date for the overall awards banquet will be announced shortly as sport and business get back to normal.