Lackagh’s Ann Kearney was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award by Hilda Breslin, President of the Camogie Association at an award ceremony in Croke Park last Saturday.
It was a long overdue tribute to the dedicated work of a person who has given a lifetime of service to camogie and was recently the recipient of a Galway People of the Year Award. The camogie career of Ann Kearney began with Presentation Convent, Oranmore culiminating in winning an All-Ireland Colleges medal in 1972 when she was then Ann Finn. She played for Oranmore club for several years and continued playing after her move to Turloughmore. Sha had also played Ladies football for Galway reacing the all Ireland finals in 1975.
Ann became a founding member of Turloughmore camogie club in 1985 and went on to win Galway and Connacht medals with te club in Junior and Intermediate bedore retiring from the game.
In late 1989, Ann became Chairperson of Galway Camogie Board and has been involved at many levels since and is currently Secretary of Galway Camogie Board.
Ann brought proficiency and expertise to camogie in Galway and players went from receiving a pair of socks and sandwiches before an All-Ireland junior final in 1989, to being kitted out with track suits and with proper meals four years later when Galway appeared in the All-Ireland senior final for the first time in 31 years. All Ireland success came three years later, thanks to the structure, drive and initiative put in place in the early ninetees.
Siince bringing her professional appraoch to Galway camogie, the county have appeared in twelve All Ireland Senior finals, six Intermediate finals, six Junior finals and fourteen Minor finals.
Ann was exceptionally proud of watching Galway bring the O’Duffy Cup to Connacht and was one of those responsible for a plaque unveiled in Killawalla school to mark Sean O’Duffy’s birthplace, bringing the O’Duffy cup to Killawalla for the first time in 1996. In Club development, Ann helped form clubs in neighbouring areas Carnmore, Abbeyknockmoy and Annaghdown.
She continues to give the same level of commitment to Galway camogie, from taking gates to player welface and her endless time and commitment has at last been recognised and rewarded as she was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Ann was introduced by RTE’s Eileen Dunne who was MC for the occasion and the presentation was made by Hilda Breslin, President of the Camogie Association at the Award Ceremony at Croke Park.