2021 and 2022 MacNamee Awards announced:

The winners of the 2021 and 2022 MacNamee Awards have been confirmed by the GAA. The GAA National Communication and Media Awards are named after the late Pádraig MacNamee, former President of the GAA, Chairman of the GAA Commission (1969-1971) and member of the RTÉ authority.

They are presented annually in recognition of outstanding contributions made by individuals and Association units in the area of media and communications. The presentation of the 2021 & 2022 Awards were delayed due to Covid 19.

Uachtarán CLG Larry McCarthy said: “From its very beginning, the GAA has been aware of the importance of telling our story and being able to connect with our members and supporters. The MacNamee Awards are a prestigious recognition of excellence in this field and have grown to match the changes in an ever-evolving media landscape.

“We appreciate the coverage that our games command across the media at club and county level. I salute all of those who are being honoured, and in particular, pay tribute to Seán Moran and Enda McEvoy who are very worthy entrants to the Hall of Fame for the high standards, and longevity, with which they have reported on our great games and players.”

The winners of the 2021 MacNamee Awards are as follows:

2021 Best GAA Publication – “Semple Stadium Field of Legends” by Liam Ó Donnchú

In a category with a number of strong contenders, Semple Stadium Field of Legends by Liam Ó’Donnchú stands out for its thoroughly researched and engaging content charting the history of one of the most famous grounds in the GAA. The author has succeeded in bringing together the colourful story of this wonderful arena with accounts of memorable matches, notable characters and of course the famous Féile. This book is packed with photos, illustrations and match programme cover imagery that enrich it throughout. It is a much-needed historical account of a very special place

2021 Best GAA Club Publication – “Thurles Sarsfield GAA Story Volume 2 (1960-2019)” by Liam Ó Donnchú

This club history documents the events and accomplishments of the club over the last 59 years. It has detailed accounts of matches at all levels, and key moments within the club.

A superb production that has been meticulously researched; the hardback book has used images throughout to illustrate activities of the club during this period.

2021 Digital Impact Award – Wexford GAA TV

The Wexford TV Team are worthy winners of the 2021 MacNamee Award for Best Digital Impact. Their innovative and professional approach to engaging the Wexford GAA online community, both domestically and internationally, ensured that Wexford GAA not only maintained but also enhanced its connection with the GAA community throughout the pandemic and as we transitioned out of restrictions in 2021. The significant number of live-streamed games, coupled with the viewership and engagement metrics on their social media platforms, demonstrates that the content they delivered was both pertinent and distinctive, undoubtedly attracting numerous Gaels from within and beyond Wexford. The access provided to the Club championships was executed in a creative and consistent manner, featuring excellent pre-match and post-match analysis and commentary. Memorable moments and unique incidents from the 2021 Wexford GAA TV broadcasts were shared on their digital channels, showcasing the high-quality club action taking place in Wexford. Likewise, their successful execution of productions such as the Cairde Loch Garman Player of the Year Awards, Glen Fuels Player of the Week, and club visits leading up to County Finals further underscores the excellence of the Wexford TV team.

Best Photograph
Piaras Ó Mídheach’s photograph of Kilkenny hurler Eoin Cody running past the flying hurley of Kilkenny runs past the flying hurl of Liam Óg McGovern of Wexford on his way to scoring his side’s first goal during the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final wins the 2021 MacNamee award for best photograph.
2021 Best Photograph – “Flying Tackle” by Piarsias Ó Mídheach, Sportsfile

It’s images such as this magnificent moment in time captured by Piaras Ó Mídheach which help illustrate the pace and frenzy of inter-county championship hurling. Kilkenny star forward Eoin Cody gives a new definition of heads up hurling and has his eyes on goal and not even the presence of a flying hurley will distract him. If you didn’t know better, you’d think he was trying to balance a hurley on the top of his head. This blink and you’d miss it moment was preserved by an expert with a keen eye for the beauty that occurs amidst the chaos.

2021 Best Programme GAA – Roscommon Senior Football Championship Final Programme

Filled with excellent editorial and statistics with a well styled cover, the Roscommon senior & junior championship final match programme treats the reader to a thoughtfully designed, easy on the eye, well-structured match programme. The planned layout of the editorial makes for an enjoyable and informative read.

2021 Best GAA Related Radio Programme – “Remembering Dermot” by John Scally, Shannonside Radio

Written, presented and produced by John Scally and broadcast mark the 10th anniversary of Dermot Earley’s passing, this programme gives an insight into the personal, family, working and playing life of one of Roscommon’s greatest footballers. In a fitting tribute, the player’s own honesty and integrity shines through, as does the admiration and esteem in which he was held by all.

2021 Provincial Media Award – ‘Damian O’Neill” by Kieran McCarthy, Southern Star

Kieran McCarthy’s informative article about Damian O’Neill’s career in the Southern Star captures a real passion for Gaelic Games. Several people are interviewed about O’Neill, who enjoyed pleasant and painful days with Bantry Blues and Cork during a stint ravaged by serious injury.

2021 National Media Award – Malachy Clerkin, The Irish Times – “A Community in mourning steels itself for Ulster Final”

Malachy Clerkin’s beautifully written piece on the death of Monaghan footballer Brendan Óg Duffy really pulled at the heart-strings.

It gives a lovely insight into the impressive young man that Brendan Óg was, and just how much he meant to his family, friends, and wider community.

The raw sadness of his loss threads its way throughout the piece, but there’s also something uplifting about how everyone in Monaghan Harps rallied together at such a difficult time like GAA clubs always do in such tragic circumstances.

2021 Gradam na Gaeilge (Irish Language Award) – Colm Ó Neasa (Ón Dumhach go dtí an Plantation: Stair Peile Iorras Aithneach agus an Chaisil, 1928 go dtí 2021 – From Dundees to the Plantation)

Sárchuntas stairiúil atá sa leabhar seo ar stair na peile Gaelaí in Iorras Aitneach agus sa Chaiseal. Déantar cus síos sa leabhar ar mhóreachtraí na gcluichí Gaelacha sa cheantar ó cuireadh an club ar bun an chéad lá thiar sa bhliain 1928 go dtí an lá atá inniu ann.

Beirt bhall agus imreoirí reatha de chuid an chlub, Colm Ó Neasa agus Seán Ó Cuirrín, a chuir an leabhar in eagar le linn na paindéime.

Hall of Fame – Enda McEvoy, Kilkenny

A proud son of Kilkenny’s Marble City, it should come as no surprise that Enda McEvoy was drawn to chronicling the exploits of hurling – something that he has done with distinction for more than 30 years in a succession of publications ranging from the London Times to the Irish Press, Sunday Independent and Sunday Tribune.

Educated at St Kieran’s College in Kilkenny, Enda wrote an acclaimed book on the legendary Fr Tommy Maher: The Godfather of Modern Hurling who shaped generations of Kilkenny teams from within the walls of St Kieran’s and also Nowlan Park. Enda also chronicled the history of great St Kieran’s teams through the book Fennessy’s Field and also worked on the hurling story of star player Charlie Carter. With Enda, what should be a hurling piece can have rock music, tv and film or even Shakespeare as a muse. Witty, razor sharp scene setting flows effortlessly into cultured critiques of games and players and McEvoy’s unique style has made him a firm favourite with hurling fans for generations. He is a permanent fixture in the match programme previews of big matches at provincial and national level, which match his analysis column in the Irish Examiner newspaper and website.

The winners of the 2022 MacNamee Awards are as follows:

2022 Best GAA Publication – “After the Storm” by Damian Lawlor

There’s a saying in Croke Park that reminds us that although the GAA is about games, in truth it is about people. Damian Lawlor’s latest book on Gaelic games brings this right home.

Some might have felt it was too traumatic and too soon to tackle the issue of covid so close to the worst of its lockdowns and death tolls.

But the counter argument is that now is the time to record how we really feel, not some far away shore when the passing of time has had an impact on our true thoughts and recollections. This approach has been vindicated by Lawlor’s ability to tell the 2020-2021 period through a collection of compelling stories focusing on different people who had their own individual trials and tribulations and were part of the collective effort.

There are plenty of previously unknown anecdotes here about just how close the GAA came to shut down and the various dilemmas that raged, including one tense Central Council meeting in 2020 when a phone call from Government pledged the funding needed to stage the Championships.

These are bolstered by a series of deeply personal and moving accounts of people navigating their way through the crisis. People like Antrim’s Niall Murphy who spent 16 days in a coma in intensive care battling the virus, the simple act of kindness that was David Brady’s round of phone calls and when at a time that the global message was to stay apart to save lives, GAA clubs and communities found a way to become closer than ever and the games become a symbol of resistance and a memory of what the world could be like.

2022 Best GAA Club Publication – “A History of Dunhill” by Senan Cooke

A History of Dunhill GAA 1882-2022 is a thoroughly comprehensive account of the club through the years.

It charts the activities of the club across GAA , Camogie and Ladies Football and key moments in the club such as the ‘hurling resurgence in the 1930’s.

It is clear a great deal of research has gone into delivering this book, and it serves as a testament to the pride members have in Dunhill GAA and their parish.

2022 Digital Impact Award – Walterstown GFC

Walterstown GFC are deserving winners of the 2022 MacNamee Award for Best Digital Impact. Walterstown GFC used their digital channels to successfully promote their club in a strategic and creative way, attracting new audiences and deepening engagement with their online community. Their innovative content creation for various digital channels, and consistent design practices across all content formats, website and social media platforms was evident and reflected positively in their results. This recognition underscores their dedication to digital promotional excellence within the GAA online community, setting a high standard for future endeavours.

The 2022 portrait by Cian O’Connor that shows Kerry manager Jack O’Connor bringing the precious Sam Maguire to the home of the legendary Mick O’Dwyer after their All-Ireland success wins the 2022 MacNamee Award for best photograph

2022 Best Photograph – “Mick O’Dwyer, Jack O’Connor & Sam Maguire” by Kerry GAA & Cian O’Connor

They say old friends are best and that is certainly the case here in this beautiful 2022 portrait by Cian O’Connor that shows Kerry manager Jack O’Connor bringing the precious Sam Maguire to the home of the legendary Mick O’Dwyer after their All-Ireland success that season. There is so much going on in an image full of respect and reverence, and it shows the quiet contentment of two great South Kerry football men, one responsible for so much success in history and one responsible for that success continuing as they savour having the Sam back in the Kingdom.

2022 Best Programme GAA – Down Senior Football Championship Final Programme

The crisp, clean and easy to negotiate publication is a credit to its editorial team and to the graphic designers that styled it. Everything a patron would wish for in a succinct format with intelligent arrangement of the content and an effectively planned front cover.

2022 Best GAA Related Radio Programme – “The First Puck” by Derek Dooley, Kilkenny Community Radio

The First Puck is a radio play documenting the foundation of Danesfort club in 1922. This play was aired on Community Radio Kilkenny City.

That a small rural club would have the courage and foresight to celebrate their centenary in the form of a radio-play is in itself an indication of fortitude and imagination. But to carry it off with aplomb is an achievement that needs to be recognised. Like many others Danesfort GAA Club came into being in the middle of the political divisions of the Civil War. In this production it is the descendants of the founding members enact their historic beginnings in a production featuring a first class script, acting and direction.

Former Tipperary hurler, Dillon Quirke, died tragically in 2022.
Former Tipperary hurler, Dillon Quirke, died tragically in 2022.
2022 Provincial Media Award – ‘Dillon Quirke Remembered” by Shane Brophy, Nenagh Guardian

Dillon Quirke’s tragic death shook the GAA world. The former Tipperary hurler’s life is remembered in the Nenagh Guardian’s coverage. Through insightful interviews and articles, Quirke’s significant contribution to both Clonoulty-Rossmore and Tipperary is fondly recalled.

2022 National Media Award – Maurice Brosnan, formerly The 42.ie – “The All Ireland Football Semi Final between Kerry V Dublin on Sean O’Shea’s winning score”

Good sports-writing makes you look at the game in a different way, and Maurice Brosnan certainly achieved that with his insightful piece on the stories behind Sean O’Shea’s match-winning free-kick in the 2022 All-Ireland SFC semi-final.

Inspired by photographer James Crombie’s excellent image of the moment O’Shea lined up the free when the snapper pulled focus on the crowd rather than the kicker, Brosnan interviewed Crombie as well as five of the spectators that featured in the photograph.

It was a clever idea that beautifully captured a moment in time whilst giving a great sense of the churning emotions experienced by spectators on match-day.

2022 Gradam na Gaeilge (Irish Language Award) – “Ógie”, RTÉ Raídió na Gaeltachta

Cailleadh Brendan ‘Ógie’ Ó Dufaigh, captaen fhoireann peile f20 Mhuineacháin, go tragóideach i dtimpiste bóthair ar a bhealach abhaile ó chluiche contae ar 16 Iúil 2021. Ní raibh sé ach 19 bliain d’aois.

Sa chlár seo labhraíonn an láithreoir aitheanta de chuid Raidió na Gaeltachta, Michelle Nic Grianna, le hathair ‘Ógie’, Breandán, faoi shaol a mhic agus faoin mbaint lárnach a bhí ag an bpeil Ghaelach lena shaol i measc go leor rudaí eile. Labhraítear, freisin, faoin gcabhair agus faoin tacaíocht a thug pobal CLG do Bhreandán agus dá chlann tar éis a bháis thragóidigh. Dónall Mac Ruairí a léirigh an clár.

Hall of Fame – Sean Moran, Irish Times

Seán Moran is a name synonymous with excellence in Gaelic games coverage at national level for more than 30 years. Initially destined for the law library, the Trinity College graduate and student debating champion later moved to journalism. He had a career as a freelance reporter, joining the Sunday Tribune in 1989, and after a successful trip covering the GAA Compromise Rules tour to Australia in 1990 the Dubliner with proud Leitrim roots was a mainstay on a star-studded sports desk, writing and sub-editing with the Tribune before later becoming Gaelic Games Correspondent in The Irish Times from the mid-90s up to the present day.

Throughout this time Moran has carved a niche for himself as one of the most authoritative voices on GAA matters, with his weekly Wednesday column a compelling commentary and analysis on the GAA matters of the day. The 2023 season was his 35th consecutive GAA Championship campaign in the press box.

The MacNamee Awards will be presented by Uachtarán CLG Larry McCarthy at a special ceremony at Croke Park on Friday, October 13, 2023. Details for submitting entries for the 2023 Awards will be announced in the coming weeks.