2023 Gaelic Writers’ Award winners revealed:
Dublin duo James McCarthy and Hannah Tyrrell, Cork’s Amy O’Connor and Clare’s Shane O’Donnell scooped the Personality of the Year awards at the Gaelic Writers’ Association annual dinner held on Friday, November 10.
The awards, in association with EirGrid, also saw former Irish Independent Chief Sports Writer Vincent Hogan recognised with a Lifetime Achievement award, with Leinster GAA’s Brendan Minnock named PRO of the Year.
Brenda McAnespie (Monaghan), Kilkenny’s Downey sisters, Ann and Angela, Terence McNaughton of Antrim and Sligo’s Mickey Kearins of Sligo were inducted into the GWA Hall of Fame.
McAnespie was a forward star on the Monaghan side which landed All-Ireland titles in 1996 and ‘97, while she also won an All-Ireland club title with Monaghan Harps in 2000.
Camogie Hall of Famers, the Downey twins were just 17 when they helped Kilkenny to their first All-Ireland senior camogie title (1974).
Over the next 20 years the duo would go on to win 12 O’Duffy Cups and eight Player of the Year awards between them – five for Angela and three for Ann.
Football Hall of Fame recipient, Mickey Kearins played for 17 seasons for Sligo and in 1975 helped the county to a first Connacht title in 47 years. He also was named on the very first All Star team in 1971.
Terence McNaughton – nicknamed ‘Sambo’ – was also inducted into the Hall of Fame.
McNaughton was a leading light in the Antrim side which shocked Offaly in the 1989 All-Ireland semi-final, and is regarded as one of Ulster’s greatest ever hurlers having been chosen as an All Star in 1991.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Vincent Hogan, is one of Ireland’s greatest ever sportswriters and, indeed, his work has carried well beyond these shores. Having worked with the Hayters Sports Agency in London from 1977, he joined the Irish Press in 1980 before moving to the Irish Independent five years later.
He has also written several acclaimed books, including the autobiographies of GAA personalities Nicky English, Henry Shefflin, Colm Cooper and Davy Fitzgerald. He retired as Chief Sportswriter at the Irish Independent after 38 years last June.
Brendan Minnock is a popular winner of the PRO of the Year award for his diligence in promoting the games and helping to facilitate media coverage of Gaelic games in his role as Leinster Council PRO. He previously served two stints as Offaly GAA PRO and sat on the GAA’s Communications Committee.
The GWA Camogie Personality of the Year, Amy O’Connor scored a marvellous hat-trick of goals in just three minutes of Cork’s All-Ireland final win over Waterford back in August as she picked up her fifth Celtic Cross and lifted the O’Duffy Cup for the first time as captain.
Hurling Personality winner Shane O’Donnell shot to fame in 2013 after hitting 3-3 in Clare’s All-Ireland final replay victory over Cork, while his performances last year saw the Éire Óg Ennis man land his first All Star award after overcoming a serious episode of concussion. He maintained his fine form in 2023 and has been nominated for another All Star.
James McCarthy – the Gaelic Football Personality of the Year – has fronted Dublin football’s dominance of the game over the last 12 years, winning a record ninth All-Ireland medal earlier this year as captain and a six-in-a-row back in 2020.
The multi-talented Hannah Tyrrell stole the show for Dublin in this year’s All-Ireland ladies football final, scoring 0-8 in the victory over Kerry as she landed her first senior title and she has been chosen as GWA Ladies Football Personality of the Year.
This year’s GWA Awards are proudly supported by EirGrid, the state-owned company charged with securing the transition of Ireland’s electricity grid to a low-carbon future. EirGrid are the sponsor of the EirGrid GAA Football All-Ireland U20 Championship and are the Official Timing sponsor of the GAA.
Football Personality of the Year – James McCarthy (Dublin)
Ladies Football Personality of the Year – Hannah Tyrrell (Dublin)
Hurling Personality of the Year – Shane O’Donnell (Clare)
Camogie Personality of the Year – Amy O’Connor (Cork)
Football Hall of Fame – Mickey Kearins (Sligo)
Ladies Football Hall of Fame – Brenda McAnespie (Monaghan)
Hurling Hall of Fame – Terence McNaughton (Antrim)
Camogie Hall of Fame – Ann and Angela Downey (Kilkenny)
PRO of the Year – Brendan Minnock (Leinster GAA)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Vincent Hogan (Irish Independent)