Sunday 22 September 2019

All-Stars swap kits for tuxedos in glamorous end to GAA season

Footballer of the Year Brian Fenton and Hurler of the Year Cian Lynch at the PwC All Stars at the Convention Centre, Dublin. Picture: Sportsfile
Footballer of the Year Brian Fenton and Hurler of the Year Cian Lynch at the PwC All Stars at the Convention Centre, Dublin. Picture: Sportsfile
Chris Crummey and Rebecca Carolan Photo: Justin Farrelly.
Adrian Tuohey and Leona McCarthy Photo: Justin Farrelly.
Tiernan McCann and Michelle Kelly Photo: Justin Farrelly.
Galway hurler Cathal Mannion with Lauren Quinn Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

After battling one another on the field for most of the year, the country's top footballers and hurlers ditched their kits for their tuxedos for the most glamorous event in the GAA calendar.

From the early evening inter-county stars from the four corners of the country descended on the Convention Centre in the capital, flanked by their other halves, mentors and loved ones.

Dozens of family members and close friends of the nominees also turned out for the red-carpet event.

After a year of thrilling drama on the field, the star-studded PwC All-Stars award ceremony was a fitting way to celebrate the best in the country.

All-Ireland winners Dublin, who won their fourth title in a row in 2018, once again dominated the football team, with seven of this year's winning team picked for the XV.

Jim Gavin's outfit are represented by Jonny Cooper, James McCarthy, Jack McCaffrey, Brian Fenton, Brian Howard, Paul Mannion and Ciarán Kilkenny.

Monaghan had three players represented, which included goalkeeper Rory Beggan- chosen ahead of Dublin's Stephen Cluxton - as well as Karl O'Connell and forward Conor McManus.

Beaten All-Ireland finalists Tyrone pick up just two awards, both in defence, through Cavanagh and Padraig Hampsey.

Donegal, Galway and Kerry complete the list, with Ryan McHugh, Ian Burke and David Clifford picking up spots in the forward division. Clifford also picked up the young footballers of the year award.

Hundreds of attendees trickled into the Convention centre throughout the early evening for the ceremony which began shortly before 7pm and was broadcast live on RTÉ.

Over 120 tables filled the room where the live event took place, with 25 tables reserved for nominees and another 10 for their family members.

Previous All-Star winner and among those in contention to win the Hurler of the Year award, Padraic Mannion, was supported by Orla Cunningham.

Six-time All-Ireland winner Paul Flynn also turned out with his partner Fiona Hudson.

Brian Fenton won the prestigious Footballer of the Year gong and he told host Michael Lyster, in his last broadcast before retiring, that he "feels lucky" to be involved with Jim Gavin's all conquering Dubs.

Meanwhile, Limerick All Ireland winner Cian Lynch scooped the award for Hurler of the Year. In an emotional speech after picking up the award he paid tribute to his parents who brought him to games as a child.

Lynch said that he wanted to show his "appreciation" to his teammates and clubmates. But the 22-year-old was not resting on his laurels and said Limerick would be knuckling down to try to win another title next year.

Irish Independent

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