Tuesday 24 April 2018

Irish Paralympic cyclist honoured at Coiste Siamsa Garda Sportstars awards

Garda Eve McCrystal with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan TD and Asst Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon pictured at the 24th Annual Coiste Siamsa Garda Sportstar Awards in The Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise Pic credit: Kyran O'Brien
Garda Eve McCrystal with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan TD and Asst Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon pictured at the 24th Annual Coiste Siamsa Garda Sportstar Awards in The Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise Pic credit: Kyran O'Brien
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

A member of An Garda Siochana who represented Ireland at the 2016 Paralympics was honoured with her fourth award for excellence in cycling at the 24th annual Coiste Siamsa Garda Sportstars awards this evening.

Gda Eve McCrystal, (39), from Dundalk, Co Louth picked up the gong at a black tie awards dinner at the Midlands Hotel in Portlaoise.

The mother-of-two, who works at the Ballybay garda station in Co Monaghan, said she was delighted to receive the honour for the fourth time.

She was among nine individual gardai who were honoured for their excellence in sports at the local, national and international levels.

Ms McCrystal took the top prize for an Irish cyclist at last summer's Ras Na mBan.

Ms McCrystal, who is also a member of the garda cycling team, won gold at the World Paralympic Championships in South Africa last year in which she piloted a bicycle along with visually-impaired cyclist Katie George Dunleavy.

The pair won gold in the 1km time trial B in Rio in 2016.

She was also nominated for the RTE Sports star of the Year award last year for her achievements.

She said she was delighted to receive the honour from her colleagues, joking that maybe now they will give her a mountain bike instead of a patrol car.

"It's really good for me, for body and mind and mental health as well to keep training," she said of her passion for cycling.

"Until the day comes where I'm not enjoying it, I'll keep going," she said.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, whose constituency is in Co Laois, attended the ceremony as a guest of honour while RTE sports broadcaster Mary Morrissey was the Master of Ceremonies.

Along with the individual awards, the Garda College Hurling Club was named the sports team of the year after winning both the League title and the Ryan Cup. The team was also the runner up in the All Ireland Garda Hurling final.

More than a hundred gardai who took part in the Garda 4 Peaks challenge last May, raising over €80,000 for the 'Aware' mental health charity, were also honoured with a Special Contribution Award.

And retired garda Paul Rayfus from Trim, Co Meath,  was inducted in to the Hall of Fame for his achievements in amateur golf over the years.

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