Donal Keenan to MacNamee Hall of Fame

Donal Keenan inducted MacNamee Hall Fame
12 November 2013; Author Donal Keenan at the launch of his book “Páidí – A big life”. Launch of Páidí Ó Sé Book, D4 Ballsbridge Hotel, Ballsbridge Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

GAA confirms winners of the prestigious 2016 MacNamee Awards

The GAA’s National Communication and Media Awards have been announced, with those who have given the sport the best coverage over the course of the last year formally recognised.

The MacNamee winners 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 awards will be presented by Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Aogán Ó Fearghail, at a function in Croke Park on Friday February 17th.

The President said: “The late Pádraig MacNamee was a man ahead of this times in many ways and it is fitting that these awards should be named in his honour.

“More than ever, excellence in the area of communications is of paramount importance and has a major bearing on how are games are projected.

“I am delighted to acknowledge that so many of our units, not least those at club level, fully embrace this outlook and utilise technology to further enhance their reach. I offer my congratulations to all of this year’s winners and hope this recognition not only strengthens their ambitions in this area but inspires others to follow.”

Provincial Media award – Kerry’s eye “Sport & revolution”

The ‘Kerry GAA and the 1916 Rising’ supplement published by Kerry’s Eye, compiled by historian Dr. Richard McElligott, is an eight-page publication that explored the many links between the Rebels of 1916 and Kerry GAA.

Well written and informative, it was a timely body of work to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Rising. The publication can be viewed online, and through gaa.ie

Best Website – Clann na ngael gaa Club, Roscommon (www.clanngaa.ie)

This site is vibrant and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, the ease with which the user can navigate and locate information is testament to the developer and it shines a positive light of GAA activity within the county both through its content and its lay-out.

2016 Best Programme – Tyrone GAA Football Final & replay

These publications were compiled by people who are obviously very familiar with the content that is important to the end user; the supporter. Simple and effectively styled covers lead the reader into thoughtfully designed, easy-to-read and structured match programmes.

The primacy of the content decided the design which was excellently planned and executed, while the hierarchy of each of the editorial elements is appreciated and appropriately positioned within the value-for-money publication.

2016 Best GAA Publication – Monaghan official GAA yearbook

The Monaghan GAA Official Yearbook takes a thorough review of Monaghan’s 2016 season at all levels and at county and clubs levels. As a record of a defined season, told with the assistance of spectacular photographs, the book is second-to-none and will serve as a lasting record for future generations.

2016 Best GAA Club Publication – Sand in our Boots – Beale GAA Club, Kerry

‘Sand in our Boots’ charts the history not only of the Beale GAA club but also of its predecessors including the Ballybunion Corncrakes, Cruaghdarrig Emmets and Faha.

Using a variety of sources including internal records, newspaper reports and the folk memory of the club, the authors have succeeded in successfully charting the history of the club and its place within the wider GAA organisation.

2016 National Media award – Neil Loughran, Irish News (article on former down footballer, Peter Withnell)

Peter Withnell was a key member of the Down team which in 1991 brought the Sam Maguire back to Ulster after a lapse of 23 years and was honoured in Croke Park last September as the Jubilee winners. It was his first time back in Croke Park, having missed out on the 1994 triumph after turning to soccer at semi-professional level. Other than being regarded at club level as a star in the making, he had been unknown in the county prior to excelling in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Kerry. Known as a private person off the field, he agreed to be interviewed by Neil Loughran in the Irish News.

The result was a revealing and fascinating account, published over two days and notable for the depth of detail on both his sporting prowess and his philosophical approach to life. The writer’s interviewing technique and the excellence in which he presented Withnell’s narrative made for an absorbing story, expertly told. It can be downloaded from gaa.ie

2016 Best GAA related radio Programme – Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh (programme with former Clare Manager, davy Fitzgerald)

This programme captured the personality of Davy Fitzgerald perfectly. It gave the listener a unique insight into Fitzgerald’s lifestyle and how he coped with the pressure during his time as Clare manager, while struggling with health issues.

2016 Gradam Gaeilge (Irish language award) – www.tuairisc.ie

Breis agus dhá bhliain ó shin nuair a cuireadh tús le tuairisc.ie, scríobhadh leathanach nua i stair na hiriseoireachta i nGaeilge, direach mar a déanadh os cionn 40 bliain ó shin le bunú Raidió na Gaeltachta agus le teacht TG4 ina dhiaidh sin. Chuir tuairisc.ie seribhís spóirt agus nuachta ar fáil nach raibh a leithéid feicthe cheana, seirbhís laethiúíl ar-líne, agus an cineal seirbhíse atá fite, fuaite leis na hathruithe ollmhóra a tháinig leis na meáin nua chumarsáide agus shóisialta. Ón tús, chruthaigh tuairisc.ie go raibh ar a gcumas leas a bhaint as na meáin sin, mar a rinne siad leis an taifead de chaptaen Chill Chainnigh 2014, Lester Ryan, ag tabhairt óráide eile i nGaeilge agus gan é ach 10 mbliana d’aois. As an gclúdach a thugann siad do Chluichí Chumann Lúthchleas Gael go náisiúnta agus go háitiúil agus as an réimse leathan colúnaithe atá acu, tá Gradam Mhic Con Mídhe na Gaeilge 2016, á bhronnadh ar tuairisc.ie.

2016 Best Photograph – John Mcilwaine

A ghostly image of one of the world’s fastest field sports which captures the action in perfect form in an image which would grace any portfolio taking in conditions which most other photographers would have packed up and left.

2016 Best New Digital Initiative – Armagh V Linwoods

Armagh TV was chosen as the Best New Digital Initiative. They live streamed the McKenna Cup final, produced a huge mix of content from audio to Facebook live and reached a massive amount of people globally, using technology to connect the global Armagh community. The breadth of their coverage was really impressive and included live, archive, club championship, club league, preview shows, u21 and camogie.

2016 Hall of Fame Award – Donal Keenan

It was inevitable that Donal would be deeply immersed in GAA life, having grown up in a house where the Association always played such a significant role. His father, Dr. Donal Keenan was a key member of the great Roscommon team that won the All-Ireland senior football double in 1943 and 1944, before going into administration where he rose all the way to the Presidency, serving in 1973-76.

Donal junior learned the football trade with the Roscommon Gaels club and when it came to choosing a career path he opted for journalism. He worked with his local paper, The Roscommon Champion for three years in the late 1970s before moving to the Westmeath-Offaly Independent where he spent a year. He joined the Irish Independent as a general sports reporter in 1981 and was appointed GAA Correspondent in 1985, replacing Donal Carroll who retired.

Donal continued with the Independent until 1994 when he moved to the Sunday Times, remaining there until 1996 when he joined the newly-founded sports newspaper, The Title. It later became the sports section of Ireland on Sunday, which was subsequently taken over by the Irish Daily Mail.

Donal continued his association with the paper until 2015. He has also been involved with several books as author and publisher, mainly in the GAA sphere.

He co-wrote the autobiographies of ‘Babs’ Keating and Teddy McCarthy and also produced the ‘Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Gaelic Football & Hurling’. An All Star selector for many years, he served as the scheme secretary/coordinator between 2001 and 2010. In 1997, he won a MacNamee National Media Award.

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