Volunteers from all 32 counties honoured at Volunteers in Sport Awards (Photos at end of Press Release)

  • Awards celebrate the 450,000 volunteers contributing to sport in clubs and communities across Ireland
  • Swim Ireland’s Mary Dunne receives ‘outstanding contribution’ award and Limerick based Women on Wheels receives the ‘team of volunteers’ award

Volunteers from all 32 counties were honoured at today’s Volunteers in Sport Awards, hosted by the Federation of Irish Sport, in partnership with EBS, in Farmleigh House, Dublin.

The Volunteers in Sport Awards were created to recognise the contributions, commitment and dedication of the 450,000 volunteers who give their time to Irish sport each year.  This equates to approximately 37.3 million hours of volunteering across Ireland’s 14,000 registered sports clubs and associations.

Members of the public, sports clubs and governing bodies were invited to nominate an individual whose contributions to sport has made a real difference to their community, club or county.

The award recipients were selected by a judging panel consisting of 12 individuals drawn from sports administration, the volunteer community and media, including former Director General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, The Irish Times sports journalist and activist, Joanne O’Riordan and former Irish rugby international, Trevor Ringland.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD was in attendance to present the awards.  In addition to the 32 county-level award winners, Swim Ireland’s Mary Dunne received the overall ‘outstanding contribution’ award and Limerick-based ‘Women on Wheels’ received the ‘team of volunteers’ award.

The award winners are as follows:



Antrim James McLornan GAA St Comgalls GAA


Armagh Paula Powell Enright GAA Armagh Harps GAA
Carlow Tommy Murphy GAA Naomh Eoin Myshall
Cavan Mark Lawlor GAA Belturbit Rory O’Moores GAA
Clare Seamus Spaight GAA Meelick GAA


Cork Liam Evans GAA St James’ GAA Clonakilty
Derry Seamus Kyne Bowling Irish Indoor Bowling Association
Donegal Peadar McGranaghan Athletics Finn Vally AC
Down Stephen Crothers Cricket Instonians Cricket
Dublin Bronwyn O’Donnell Hockey Loreto Hockey Club, Rathfarnham
Fermanagh Gaye Conway Rowing Enniskillen Royal Boat Club
Galway Derek Niland Rugby Galway Corinthians
Kerry Jennifer O’Sullivan Boxing Sliabh Lucra BC
Kildare Shirley MacDermott Equestrian Special Olympics Ireland
Kilkenny Paul Cummins Ice Hockey Kilkenny Storm
Laois Pat Kelly Athletics St. Abbans Athletics Club
Leitrim Mary O’Donnell Athletics Carrick – on – Shannon AC
Limerick Sharon Galvin Soccer Limerick Belles FC
Longford Carol Murray GAA Longford Slashers GAA
Louth Fetpai Fappito Basketball Dundalk Ravens Basketball Club
Mayo*** Sinead McGrath Equestrian Ballinrobe Riding Club
Meath Mary Davitt Special Olympics Navan Arch Club
Monaghan Ned Boyle Gymnastics Killeevan Gymnastics Club
Offaly Yvonne Tierney Swimming Ballinamere Special Olympics Club
Roscommon Eamonn Bulger Soccer Ballyboro football club
Sligo Gerry Touhy GAA Calry St Josephs GAA
Tipperary Martin Quinn GAA Galtee Rovers GAA
Tyrone Kenneth Strong Table Tennis Table Tennis Ireland
Waterford Michael Walsh Soccer Waterford FC


Westmeath Eugene Dolan GAA St Pauls GFC Clonmellon
Wexford Nemone Van Der Bliake Park Run Heritage Park, Junior Park Run
Wicklow Theresa Kinane Athletics Greystones & District AC
Outstanding Contribution Mary Dunne Swimming Ballina Dolphins
Team Women on Wheels Cycling Limerick LSP



Speaking at the awards, Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, said:

“Sport matters. It contributes to our health, binds us together as a community and supports the economy, while bringing a sense of pride to us all.

“This would not be possible without the volunteers who share their time and expertise on pitches, tracks, gym floors and swimming pools across the country each and every week.  To this end, the Volunteers in Sport Awards is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate these volunteers.   

“I would like to extend my congratulations to all our award winners and to thank Minister Griffin for attending our awards ceremony and taking the time out to help honour our award recipients.”

Commenting from the awards ceremony, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, TD, said:

“It was a real honour for me to attend the Volunteers in Sport Awards. As somebody who has been involved in sport at an amateur level since I was a child myself, I have always marvelled at the commitment that so many club members show to their communities up and down the country.

“It is a real privilege to recognise the contribution made by those who do so much for others in fulfilling the less glamourous but most definitely vital and often overlooked tasks involved in almost any sport you can imagine. The men and women honoured today may not be household names across the country but in their own communities they are real treasures. I was delighted to speak to many of them today. My thanks to the Federation of Irish Sport and all those who made this ceremony such a memorable occasion for all the recipients.”

According to Des Fitzgerald, CEO of EBS:

“EBS has been involved in communities in Ireland for over 80 years and are delighted to reignite our activity in communities around the country by supporting the 2019 Volunteers in Sports Awards with The Federation of Irish Sport. Through a new partnership with The Federation of Irish Sport we are delighted to celebrate volunteers in sport in Ireland and I would like to congratulate all the recipients of the 2019 Volunteers in Sports Awards. At EBS we know that our biggest asset is our people who work with customers in the community. That’s why EBS is delighted to champion the army of volunteers in sport that make sure sport happens throughout Ireland every day.”

For full details on all winners and their achievements please see https://www.irishsport.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Volunteers_booklet_ONLINE_v3.pdf

For more information, visit www.volunteersinsport.ie