GAA Football

Derry's Jim McKeever and McGuigans of Tyrone honoured by GAA President

Tyrone legend Frank McGuigan and his family have been honoured in the GAA President's Awards. Frank Snr is shown in action against Armagh's Joe Kernan.
Staff reporter

MCGUIGANS and Ballymaguigan are celebrating after the latest GAA President's Awards.

The McGuigan family from Ardboe have been honoured with the Dermot Earley Family Award, while Derry legend 'Gentleman' Jim McKeever, from the St Trea's, Ballymaguigan club, received the provincial accolade for Ulster.

Monaghan native Niall Moyna, who is mostly associated with DCU, received the Education Award.

The McGuigan family is synonymous with Gaelic football through their involvement with Ardboe and Tyrone.

The combined haul of honours collected by Frank Snr and his sons Frank Jnr, Brian, Tommy and Shay would be the envy of any family.

Frank Snr is commonly accepted as one of the greatest natural talents to play football for Tyrone, winning an All-Star award in 1976 and producing one of the most famous individual performances in GAA history with his 11-point haul against Armagh in the Ulster championship in 1984.

The sons took their lead from their father and while serving Tyrone with distinction they have remained to the fore with Ardboe throughout a glittering family contribution to the GAA over five decades.

Jim McKeever excelled at every level of the GAA as a renowned footballer playing colleges, club, county and provincial football. He collected county medals and was captain of the Derry team of 1958 that lost the All-Ireland final that year.

In addition to a long and successful career as an administrator, he developed a strong interest in coaching to complement his role as a prominent educator. He served as Head of Physical Education at St Mary's Training College for 40 years and is synonymous with the GAA in Derry in particular.

Monaghan native Niall Moyna is a Professor and Head of the School of Health and Human Performance and a member of the Centre for Preventive Medicine in DCU.

Having studied and worked extensively in the US, he has published more than 150 research papers and has brought this level of expertise to bear on the coaching and promotion of Gaelic games, both within Dublin City University and further afield, with huge success.

He has worked at inter-county level with numerous teams and assists the GAA in the preparation and training of match officials.

The awards, organised with the support of Club Championship sponsors AIB and broadcast by TG4, are staged annually by the GAA and provide the GAA President with an opportunity to acknowledge outstanding commitment and long service across the club, and county network from people whose highly valued contribution may not be recognised on the national stage.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail, said: "We organise this event every year to highlight some of the individuals across the wider GAA family who make a colossal contribution to the health and wellbeing of the games.

"Many of those being honoured this evening will not be well-known outside their clubs and communities – if at all.

"However, you can be sure that they are highly valued at home for everything they do and people like them exist and work tirelessly in every club, both around Ireland and around the world. This is our way of acknowledging and thanking them for all they do to promote and bolster our games week-in, week-out, year-in, year-out.

2017 GAA President's Awards:

EDUCATION AWARD - Professor Niall Moyna, DCU

MUNSTER- Bill Harte, Carbery Rangers GAA, Cork

CONNACHT- Paddy Beirne, Tremane Hurling Club, Roscommon

LEINSTER - Ann Gannon, Summerhill, Meath

ULSTER - Jim McKeever, St Trea's, Ballymaguigans, Derry

CAMOGIE - Eithne Allen, Sarsfields Camogie Club, Cork.

HANDBALL - Matt Purcell, Ballymore Eustace GAA Handball Club, Kildare

LADIES FOOTBALL- John Sheridan, Kilmacud Croke's GAA Club, Dublin

ROUNDERS - Ger Proctor, Cuchulainn Rounders Club, Carlow.

INTERNATIONAL AWARD- Margaret Keane

EDUCATION AWARD - Professor Niall Moyna, DCU

The DERMOT EARLEY FAMILY AWARD - The McGuigan Family, Ardboe, Tyrone

GAEILGE AWARD – Liam Ó Laochdha, Youghal GAA Club, Cork.

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