Monday 25 September 2017

A champion day as our sporting elite honoured

Pictured at the Irish Independent Sportstar of the year lunch in the Westbury Hotel yesterday were Republic of Ireland Asst Manager Roy Keane, with Stephen Rae, Editor in Chief, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and the Evening Herald, and Martin O'Neill, Republic of Ireland Soccer Manager. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Pictured at the Irish Independent Sportstar of the year lunch in the Westbury Hotel yesterday were Republic of Ireland Asst Manager Roy Keane, with Stephen Rae, Editor in Chief, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and the Evening Herald, and Martin O'Neill, Republic of Ireland Soccer Manager. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Jane Murray, sister of Tony McCoy, accepts Sportstar of the Year award, on behalf of her brother, from Irish Independent editor Claire Grady Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Pictured at the Irish Independent Sportstar of the year lunch in the Westbury Hotel yesterday were Golfer Padraig Harrington and his mum Breda. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Pictured at the Irish Independent Sportstar of the year lunch in the Westbury Hotel yesterday were Rachel Wyse with Irish Soccer Manager Martin O Neill and John Delaney CEO of the FAI. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Pictured at the Irish Independent Sportstar of the year lunch in the Westbury Hotel yesterday were Clare Hurlers, Podge Collins with Tony Kelly and Shane O Donnell. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Pictured at the Irish Independent Sportstar of the year lunch in the Westbury Hotel yesterday were members of the Irish Ladies Rugby team: Alison Miller with Joy Neville and Niamh Briggs. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Pictured at the Irish Independent Sportstar of the year lunch in the Westbury Hotel yesterday were Annie Shivers [Neice of Jockey Tony McCoy] with Tony's sisters Kelly McCoy, Roisin Shivers, Martin O Neill, Roy Keane, AnneMarie McCormick and Jane Murray.
Pictured at the Irish Independent Sportstar of the year lunch in the Westbury Hotel yesterday were GAA President Liam O Neill with Irish Boxing Manager Billy Walsh and Olympic boxing Gold medalist Michael Carruth. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Broadcaster Jimmy Magee, left, with former Kerry footballing legend Mick O'Connell during the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
Hall of Fame recipient Jim Bolger is presented with his award by Declan Carlyle, Managing Director of Independent Newspapers Ireland, in the company of Croke Park Hotel manager Alan Smullen.
Sarah Lavin and Louise Cantillon the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
Irish Independent editor Claire Grady, centre, with from left, Anne Marie McCormack, Kelly McCoy, Jane Murray and Roisin Shivers at the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill, left, President of the Camogie Association Aileen Lawlor, and Racehorse trainer Aidan O'Brien at the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
Republic of Ireland management team Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane with, from left: Annie Shivers, Kelly McCoy, Roisin Shivers, Anne-Marie McCormack and Jane Murray during the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
Roisin Shivers poses for a photo with Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
17 December 2013; Trainer Aidan O'Brien, left, Jimmy Magee, Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane and jockey Joseph O'Brien, right, during the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013. The Westbury Hotel, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Croke Park Hotel manager Alan Smullen, left, with Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
Croke Park Hotel manager Alan Smullen, left, with Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane
Golfer Padraig Harrington, left and former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Packie Bonner during the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
Golfer Padraig Harrington is presented with an award by Stephen Rae, Editor-in-Chief, Independent Newspapers during the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
Pictured at the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013 were from left: FAI Chief Executive John Delaney; Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager; Stephen Rae, Editor-in-Chief, Independent Newspapers and Martin O'Neill, Republic of Ireland Manager.
Senator Eamonn Coghlan, left, former Republic of Ireland International manager Brian Kerr, Olympic Welterweight Gold medallist Michael Carruth and Ireland boxing coach Billy Walsh, right during the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013.
Former Kilkenny hurler Eddie Kehir, left, and former Republic of Ireland International manager Brian Kerr.
Ireland boxing coach Billy Walsh, left, with Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill
Jimmy Magee, left, and Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane
Pictured at the Croke Park Hotel / Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year Luncheon 2013 were from left: Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager; Stephen Rae, Editor-in-Chief, Independent Newspapers; Rachael Wyse, Independent Sports Columnist; Martin O'Neill, Republic of Ireland Manager and FAI Chief Executive John Delaney.
Laura Butler

Laura Butler

IT'S not often that champion footballers, boxers, jockeys, golfers and soccer players gather in one room together -- but when it does happen it makes for something very special.

The cream of Irish sport turned out for the annual Irish Independent Sports Awards yesterday to toast the glittering successes of some of our country's finest across 18 fields.

The event, held in the Westbury Hotel in Dublin and MC-ed by Sky Sports presenter Rachel Wyse, marked its silver jubilee this year and it was a celebration worthy of the elite sports personalities that have excelled at home and abroad.

Among the professionals providing thrills and triumphs throughout 2013, a year of plenty in Irish sport, were the three winners on the day: jockey AP McCoy, Clare hurler Tony Kelly and horse trainer Jim Bolger.

McCoy, who claimed his 4,000th career win over jumps in November, was named the Sports Star of the Year, a title previously won by the likes of Rory McIlroy, Katie Taylor and Brian O'Driscoll. The award was handed over by Irish Independent Editor Claire Grady.

Kelly took home the Young Sports Star of the Year prize, an accolade that was won last year by flat jockey Joseph O'Brien.

"Winning the All-Ireland was just one of the best moments of my life," he said.

Kelly attended the awards with his county team mates Shane O'Donnell and Podge Collins, but after a phone call from their manager Davy Fitzgerald, they were unable to let their hair down and were called back to the training ground after the ceremony.

The sporting afternoon was complete when host Wyse invited legendary trainer Bolger, the man behind the 2013 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Trading Leather, to join her on stage. He became the latest face to be initiated into the Hall of Fame for his achievements over what has been a victorious career on the race course.

ATTENTION

Although they were not receiving any awards, the Republic of Ireland's "dream team" management partnership of Roy Keane and Martin O'Neill drew plenty of attention on the day.

They attended with the FAI chief executive John Delaney and posed for a number of pictures with delighted fans prior to the three-course meal.

Other guests included Fionnuala Britton, Michael Carruth, Packie Bonner and Martyn Irvine, while three-time Major-winning golfer Padraig Harrington was accompanied by his mother Breda.

"My mum usually represents me at this event when I can't make it, so it means a lot for me to be able to come with her," Harrington said.

He received special recognition before the official proceedings kicked off, for winning the Irish Independent's Sports Star of the Year three times throughout its 25 years history.

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