WELL-known local and international athlete, Willie Keane, Kilkee has been selected by the Clare Association in Dublin as its Clare Person of the Year 2016.
He will be presented with his award at the association’s annual dinner dance in Dublin on January 23.
Willie was to the forefront of Irish athletics for many years and between 1969 and 1980, he won numerous medals in track and field, cross country and on the road. During that time, he accumulated 56 All-Ireland medals.
He also distinguished himself at international level and was always proud to wear the Irish singlet when representing the NACA at international events.
As well as promoting athletics among the youth of West Clare as a member of St John’s Athletic Club, Willie is also a great GAA supporter and is president of the local St Senan’s GAA Club.
Clare County Council recognised Willie’s achievements with a civic reception in 2001 and he was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
Earlier this year, all the medals he won throughout his career went on display at the GAA Museum in Croke Park, including a cup for a 1,500m race, an international cup that he won in Europe and one of his Irish singlets.
Tributes came from Clare and Croke Park officials on that occasion and the Clare Association in Dublin was also represented.
Corofin native Gerry O’Reilly, who is chairman of the Clare Association in Dublin (Muintir an Chláir) said they are delighted to honour one of Clare’s greatest sportstmen.
Willie’s selection as Clare Person of the Year for 2016 was formally announced at a Clare Association function in the CCE Clasac Centre, Alfie Byrne Road on on Thursday night.