Sunday 16 December 2018

Gallery: Con O'Callaghan, Aidan O'Brien, Joe Canning and Sonia O'Sullivan pick up gongs at the Irish Independent Sportstar Awards

20th December 2017; Con OCallaghan winner of the Irish Independent Young Sportstar of the Year 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Con OCallaghan winner of the Irish Independent Young Sportstar of the Year 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Aidan OBrien winner of the Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year 2017 award pictured at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Aidan OBrien winner of the Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year 2017 award pictured at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Con OCallaghan is presented with the Irish Independent Young Sportstar of the Year 2017 award by Ronnie Delany, 1956 Olympic 1,500m Champion, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Ronnie Delany speaking during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Ronnie Delany speaking during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; John Moore, Deputy Sports Editor, INM, speaking during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Brian Fenton is presented with the Irish Independent Team of the Year 2017 award on behalf of the Dublin Senior Mens Football Team by Stephen Rae, Editor-in-Chief, INM, left, and Alan Smullen General Manager, The Croke Park Hotel, at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; A general view during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Aidan OBrien is presented with the Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year 2017 award by Fionnan Sheahan, Editor at Independent News & Media, left, and Alan Smullen, General Manager of the Croke Park Hotel, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Aidan OBrien is presented with the Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year 2017 award by Fionnan Sheahan, Editor at Independent News & Media, left, and Alan Smullen, General Manager of the Croke Park Hotel, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Aidan OBrien is presented with the Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year 2017 award by Fionnan Sheahan, Editor at Independent News & Media, left, and Alan Smullen, General Manager of the Croke Park Hotel, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Aidan OBrien winner of the Irish Independent Sportstar of the Year 2017 award pictured at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Brian Fenton collecting the Irish Independent Team of the Year 2017 award on behalf of the Dublin Senior Mens Football Team at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia OSullivan is presented with the Irish Independent Hall of Fame 2017 award by INM CEO Michael Doorly, left, and Pat King, Chief Executive Officer at The Doyle Collection, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Brian Fenton collecting the Irish Independent Team of the Year 2017 award on behalf of the Dublin Senior Mens Football Team at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; A general view during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Con OCallaghan is presented with the Irish Independent Young Sportstar of the Year 2017 award by Ronnie Delany, 1956 Olympic 1,500m Champion, right, and John Moore, Deputy Sports Editor, INM, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Brian Fenton is presented with the Irish Independent Team of the Year 2017 award on behalf of the Dublin Senior Mens Football Team by Stephen Rae, Editor-in-Chief, INM, left, and Alan Smullen General Manager, The Croke Park Hotel, at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Con OCallaghan winner of the Irish Independent Young Sportstar of the Year 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Con OCallaghan winner of the Irish Independent Young Sportstar of the Year 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia OSullivan winner of the Irish Independent Hall of Fame 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Joe Canning winner of the Irish Independent Magic Sports Moment 2017 award pictured at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia OSullivan winner of the Irish Independent Hall of Fame 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia OSullivan winner of the Irish Independent Hall of Fame 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia OSullivan winner of the Irish Independent Hall of Fame 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Jackie Cahill, left, and Dick Clerkin at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, from left, INM CEO Michael Doorly, horse trainer Aidan O'Brien and INM Editor in Chief Stephen Rae in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Fionnan Sheahan, INM Editor, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Fionnan Sheahan, INM Editor, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; A general view during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Joe Canning winner of the Irish Independent Magic Sports Moment 2017 award pictured at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Joe Canning winner of the Irish Independent Magic Sports Moment 2017 award pictured at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia OSullivan winner of the Irish Independent Hall of Fame 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia OSullivan winner of the Irish Independent Hall of Fame 2017 award at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, from left, INM CEO Michael Doorly, horse trainer Aidan O'Brien and INM Editor in Chief Stephen Rea in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Former Cork camogie player Anna Geary in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Former Cork camogie player Anna Geary in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are former Cork camogie player Anna Geary and Eoin Conroy in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Fionnan Sheahan, INM Editor, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Fionnan Sheahan, INM Editor, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Fionnan Sheahan, INM Editor, during the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; GAA and LGFA staff in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are David Matthews and Niamh Matthews in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are Jessica Lacey and Darragh O'Connell in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, from left, David Matthews, Niamh Matthews, Sonia O'Sullivan and Gerard Hartmann in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, from left, David Matthews, Niamh Matthews, Sonia O'Sullivan and Gerard Hartmann in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are 1956 1500m Olympic Champion Ronnie Delany and CEO of the Irish Sports Council John Treacy in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, from left, INM CEO Michael Doorly, horse trainer Aidan O'Brien and INM Editor in Chief Stephen Rea in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, Gina Akpe-Moses, left, and Sharlene Mawdsley in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are Maria Noonan and Tommy Doyle in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are Kieran Harte and David Harte in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia O'Sullivan in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia O'Sullivan in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Sonia O'Sullivan in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Former Republic of Ireland managers Brian Kerr, left, and Eoin Hand in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are Jack King and Dee King in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are Tara Fogerty and Sam Bennett in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are Jarlath Daly, sculptor of the awards, and Ciara Daly in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, from left, Dermot McFeely, Josie McFelly and Peter O'Curry in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are Maria Noonan and Tommy Doyle in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Cyclist Mark Downey, left, and Seamus Downey in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, from left, Deirdre, Aoibhe and Sorcha Noonan in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, from left, Deirdre, Aoibhe, Sorcha and Peter Noonan in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured arem from left, Tara Fogarty, Sam Bennett, Mark Downey and Seamus Downey in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are Orla Foley and Brendan Foley in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are from left, Phillip Mahoney, Orla Foley and Brendan Foley in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20th December 2017; Pictured are, from left, Cliona O'Reilly, Sinead Cassidy, Eileen Regan and Margaret White in attendance at the star-studded 29th Irish Independent Sportstar Awards hosted in Croke Park Stadium in association with The Croke Park Hotel. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

THE cream of the crop rubbed shoulders and were afforded the acclaim that their sporting mastery deserved at the 2017 Irish Independent Sportstar awards. Big winners on the night included horse racing trainer Aidan O’Brien, All-Ireland hurling champ Joe Canning and Dublin GAA maestro Con O’Callaghan.

Athletics legend Sonia O’Sullivan was inducted into the Hall of Fame, while Jim Gavin’s Dublin charges came out on top as Team of the Year following their historic three-in-a-row All-Ireland success.

The winners were joined by a host of sporting stars from past and present, including Olympic champion Ronnie Delaney, horse trainer Jessica Harrington, former Ireland manager Brian Kerr and Dublin Ladies Player of the Year Noelle Healy.

The event, held in association with The Croke Park hotel, also included some of the country’s rising stars.

Aidan O’Brien’s son Joseph, who won the historic Melbourne Cup earlier in the year, stole some of his father’s limelight, despite Aidan taking the Sportstar of the Year gong.

Asked who is the bigger name at the moment, Aidan pointed in the direction of his son.

“Joseph I’d say. Sure the Melbourne Cup was unbelievable,” he said.

However, Joseph modestly played this down. “We’re both very lucky to have had good years,” he said.

“It’s great to be invited to events like this and look back on it and then it’s on to next year,” he added.

Meanwhile, Galway star Canning was awarded Sporting Moment of the Year for his miraculous last-minute point to clinch victory over Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final. It was all down to luck, he reckoned.

“It was one of those things where you just got it and hit it and in a way you just kind of hope for the best,” he said.

“Other times obviously they don’t go over, we were really lucky that it did this year,” he added.

Asked about the feeling of finally getting over the line to clinch the Liam MacCarthy Cup, he insisted it was just relief.

“Relief is the best word to describe it because it just felt like a pressure valve was released.”

Olympic silver medallist O’Sullivan had almost two tables of family and friends in attendance at the awards as she was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“It’s really nice to have a table of friends, a table of family...I never thought I could invite so many people,” she said.

“It’s also good to have people here who have been behind me and supported me for so many years,” she added.

From one athletics champ to another, European under-20 sprint gold medallist Gina Akpe-Moses told the Irish Independent it has been a whirlwind year.

“It’s been something I can reflect on and I can build on as well, it’s been a very good year,” she said.

She explained that while it’s been great “I haven’t fully understood it yet.”

Who is your sportstar of the year?

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Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

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