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Champion honours community and sports stars

IN addition to the teams of the hurling and football championships for 2010, The Clare Champion will also present awards to community activists and to other sports personalities at their upcoming gala awards night at the Clare Inn Hotel on Friday, April 15.
The teams of the 2010 senior hurling and football championships, as announced last week, will be joined by the other award winners from the worlds of soccer, athletics, handball, ladies football, camogie, golf and boxing, as well as those being honoured for their work as community activists.
The presentation ceremony will conclude with the naming of the overall personality of the year.

Community
Tess Barry, Shannon

Shannon’s Tess Barry has been involved in a number of community organisations for decades.
She is well known for her work in the Tidy Towns and is still very active in trying to make Shannon a more attractive place.
Tess was a founder member of the Shannon Senior Citizen’s Club and is still involved with it, while she has been active in a range of other community groups in the town over the years.

Community
Murt McInerney, Doonbeg

Murt McInerney has been on the West Clare Drama Festival Committee since the event was first staged in Doonbeg in 1961.
For more years than he can remember he has also operated as festival director, while producing the Doonbeg Drama Group’s annual play.
A retired teacher from Kilrush Community School, Murt has also had a lifetime’s involvement in several
community groups in Doonbeg.
Unfortunately, he recently broke his leg, right in the middle of the 50th drama festival in Doonbeg.

Community
Ann Norton, Clare Crusaders

A REGISTERED charity, The Clare Crusaders was the late Howard Flannery’s vision but through the endeavours of people like Ann Norton, the clinic is dedicated to the provision of services for children with special needs, such as cerebral palsy, autism and Down Syndrome. The centre doesn’t receive any government funding and all funds are raised through the efforts of volunteers.
Ann Norton manages the Clare Crusaders Clinic on a voluntary basis. She is a mother of three and her oldest daughter, Nicole has Cerebral Palsy. Ann is also a reflexolgist and provides reflexology to children attending the clinic.

Community
Mattie Shannon, Doolin Search and Rescue

MATTIE Shannon is the officer in charge of the Doolin Unit of the Irish Coast Guard. The unit is one of the busiest in the country and last year its boat was launched a total of 85 times.
The boat crew was the only one in the country last year to be awarded a distinction, the highest possible accolade, in an Operational Readiness Inspection. 2011 has already been a good year for Mattie and the unit. Mattie was one of six members of the Doolin Unit to pick up a long-service award in January, while the unit was recognised by Clare County Council at a civic reception in February.

Ladies football
Michelle Downes

MICHELLE Downes was an inspirational captain for West Clare Gaels as the girls from the peninsula swept to the club’s first ever senior title in Clare, followed by Munster and All-Ireland intermediate club titles.
Michelle, who is a self-employed sports rehabilitator, was also part of the West Clare Gaels team that reached the All-Ireland junior club final in 2007.
Their success in 2010 lit up the parishes of Kilkee, Carrigaholt and Cross-Kilbaha during the winter months.


Camogie
Claire Commane

WHILE defeat was Corofin’s lot at the final hurdle, the 2010 season was a memorable one for the Clare camogie club.
The Clare champions went on to add the Munster junior crown to their collection, before losing out to the experienced Four Roads from Roscommon in the final.
laire Commane was one of the leading lights for the team throughout the campaign. A physiotherapy student at Northumbria University in Newcastle, she was Corofin’s top scorer throughout the campaign.

Handball
Declan Frawley

THE 2010 handball season was a special one for Clarecastle’s Declan Frawley.
The winner of a number of juvenile All-Irelands, as well as a world title in 2006, he ended a long wait for Clare handball when capturing the All-Ireland 60 x 30 junior title last year.
This particular title last came to Clare in 1968 when Dan Kirby was successful, following in the footsteps of his brothers, Michael in 1959 and Pat in 1957.

Boxing
Keelan Sexton

KEELAN Sexton won his second successive national boys boxing title last April at the national stadium.
After his quarter-final win on the Thursday, he was in great discomfort and doubtful for the semi-final due to a back injury. His father, Kevin drove him to Ennis where he had treatment and he was back in Dublin on Friday to win his semi-final and he followed this with victory in the final on Saturday.
The 14-year-old from Quilty earned a call up to the international panel as a result of his performances in the national championships.

Athletics
Harriet Flynn

THE 2010 season was a very successful one for Shannon athlete Harriet Flynn. She won the Munster 1,500m (indoor and outdoor) titles at U-17 level and she was second in the national event.
A member of the Shannon athletic club, Harriet has also featured prominently in colleges’ competitions in recent years.

Soccer
John Healy

AVENUE United dominated the Clare junior soccer scene last season winning the league and cup double. Ever present in their line-up was goalkeeper John Healy, who was also the number one for the Clare League as they progressed to the final of the Oscar Traynor Cup, only to go under to Wexford at the final hurdle.
The Killaloe native is one of the most experienced junior soccer players in Clare and has maintained a high level of consistency over many years.

Golf
Sinead Sexton

Sinead Sexton is being honoured for her achievements in golf but, in truth, she could be honoured in a variety of sports, as she is prominent in camogie, soccer, basketball, surfing and ladies football.
In golf, she was the first reserve for the Irish girls’ home international team last year. She reached the semi-final of the Lancome Irish girls close championship where she lost to the eventual winner, Laura Grant.
Sinead won the Connacht girls championship and the Irish girls order of merit, while she was a member of the Lahinch senior cup team that won the Munster senior cup title.

Overall award
To be announced

ONE of the highlights of the awards presentation night will come with the naming of the overall winner for the year.
There are many excellent and deserving candidates but the identity of the winner will not be revealed until the night.

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