Kerry radio broadcaster Weeshie Fogarty was honoured by the GAA last week as he was amongst the winners of the Mac Namee Awards
The awards, 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 RTÉ authority. They are presented annually in recognition of outstanding contributions made by individuals and Association units in the area of media and communications.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Aogán Ó Fearghail, presented them at a function in Croke Park last Friday. The GAA President offered his congratulations: “The importance of communicating the GAA message has never been greater given the clamour to be heard in an era of simplified communications.
“The GAA story is an extremely positive one and one that needs to be told and I am pleased to acknowledge those who have excelled in this regard this evening.
“As methods of communication and journalism continue to evolve I am pleased to laud the examples of best practice that are being honoured this evening and I congratulate all within the organisation who give this the attention it not only deserves but requires.”
Winners: 2015 Hall of Fame Award – Weeshie Fogarty, Radio Kerry
Weeshie Fogarty started work in St Finan’s Hospital in Killarney in 1962 and worked there as a psychiatric nurse for 38 years. He played for the hospital team and when the club were no longer able to field a team, he returned to the Legion club in the town. He won Kerry County Championship medals with divisional team East Kerry and was in the East Kerry panel that beat Bryansford of Down to win the first All- Ireland club football final, here at Croke Park in November 1971. (After that final it was decided that divisional teams would not be allowed to play in the club championship).
Weeshie also played senior football for Kerry and when his playing career was over, he turned to refereeing and became one of the leading inter-county referees in the country, taking charge of three all All-Ireland football semifinals. However, for younger GAA supporters ‘Weeshie’ as he is popularly known is probably best known for his insightful analysis on Radio Kerry and his engaging Monday evening ‘Terrace Talk’ programme on the same station. He has interviewed all the Kerry legends and many GAA stars from outside the county also.
Weeshie also published his life story in a book appropriately named ‘My Beautiful Obsession, Chasing the Kerry Dream.’
Provincial Media Award – Meath Chronicle
The award acknowledges Fergal Lynch’s article based on the cancer battle of former Meath player, Alan Nestor. It provides insight and details of the illness and the recovery of the player and his determination to play Gaelic football.
Best Website – Monaghan GAA (www.monaghangaa.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.
2015 Best Programme – Kildare GAA Football Final
The effort that Kildare GAA has put into the planning process of their match programmes has resulted in well designed and crisp templates. The content is concise, reader-friendly and consistently accurate throughout. Intelligent styling of the cover and within the body of the publication permitted excellent use of imagery.
2015 Best GAA Publication – North Kerry – A Hurling History by Tommy O’Connor
This publication was chosen as the best GAA publication on account of the author’s meticulous research and engaging presentation of a lesser known aspect of Kerry’s rich GAA tradition.
2015 Best GAA Club Publication – The Story of the GAA In Killeavey by Oliver McDonald.
This publication by Oliver McDonald (below left) was chosen as the best GAA Club publication for a number of factors including the level of research conducted, using a variety of sources, into the club itself, the quality of writing and the overall presentation, including the liberal use of interesting photographs.
2015 National Media Award – Marie Crow (article on the Austin Stack journey)
This article by Marie Crow (above) captures the very essence of the GAA in a poignant yet beautiful piece that encompasses untold grief, community spirit and indomitable sporting courage. The role that the Association can play at grassroots level in times of adversity has long been recognised and in this respect the author paints a vivid picture of the support, comfort and encouragement it has to offer.
The strong focus, too, on how tragedy and triumph can often walk hand in hand is portrayed in a manner that is both sensitive and beguiling.
2015 Best GAA Related Radio Programme – WLR FM
In the winning production by Kevin Casey from WLR, Waterford hurler Maurice Shanahan reveals his battle with depression which forced him to give up the game in the beginning of last season, only to return and win an All Star before 2015 ended. Shanahan’s open and honest account of his struggle and of the help he received from family, friends, club-mates and the GAA family at large, makes for compelling listening and must be a source of strength for others who find themselves in similar circumstances. The programme is enhanced by the compassionate and sensitive style of interviewer Kevin Casey.
2015 Gradam Gaeilge (Irish Language Award) – GAA USA (Sónta Films for TG4)
Tá an gradam seo tuillte go maith ag an sraith faisnéise ‘GAA USA’. Tugann sé léargas iontach faoin ról lárnach atá ag an gCumann Lúthchleas Gael i saol na hÉireannaigh atá lonnaithe i Meirceá, agus tá cur síos déanta ag an scéal ar stair na hÉireann chomh maith. Tugaimid ard mholadh don taighde, don chur i láthair agus don ardchaighdeán ginerálta atá le feiceáil sna gcláracha sa tsraith ar fad.
This award is fully deserving of the television documentary series, ‘GAA USA.’ It gives fantastic insight to us all about the key role that the GAA plays in the lives of the Irish based in America, while the story also intertwines with the history of Ireland. The great research, presentation and standard in each of the programmes in the series is to be highly praised.
2015 Best Photograph – Martin Rowe
Taken by Martin Rowe, the photograph captures the combined timing of the photographer and the skill of the Kilkenny player, TJ Reid, into a moment that is only a moment but is recorded for posterity.