Search for Ulster's finest underway as 2022 Irish News Ulster All Stars launched

Pictured at the launch of the 2022 Irish News Ulster All Stars at Waterman House in Belfast are, left to right, Michael Geoghan (Ulster GAA), Kieran McGeary (Tyrone footballer), Neil McManus (Antrim hurler), Clodagh McCambridge (Armagh footballer), Deirdre McGrath (Ulster Camogie Association), Gerry Doherty (Ulster LGFA) and Brian McAvoy (Ulster GAA) Picture: Hugh Russell

THE whistle has been blown and the ball thrown in as the search for the 2022 Irish News Ulster Allstars got underway. 

At the recent launch event at Waterman House restaurant in Belfast, the latest city centre location operated by top chef Niall McKenna, representatives from all four codes and sponsors O’Neills Sportswear, Millar McCaul Wylie, Spar, Options IT, Kingsbridge Private Hospital Group and Canal Court Hotel & Spa joined The Irish News in launching this year’s awards which promise to be the biggest ever. 

Now in its 27th year, the 2022 Irish News Ulster Allstars will be the first to honour 60 players from men’s and ladies’ football, hurling and camogie at an in-person event as well as crowning our four Players of the Year. 

Among those at yesterday’s launch was 2021 Irish News Footballer of the Year Kieran McGeary of Tyrone, who also modelled the specially commissioned 2022 Irish News Allstars jersey, which was made by O’Neills Sportswear. 

He said: “Winning the Irish News Footballer of the Year was great honour for me and rounded off what was a fantastic year. These awards are made extra special as they are voted for by the readers of The Irish News, the people who watch our games week-in, week-out and passionately support their counties.” 

This year’s awards ceremony will take place at the Ulster Hall on September 30 with voting now open for Irish News readers to pick their best 15s in each of the four codes. 

Irish News sports editor Paul McConville said: “Once again it was a privilege to bring another exciting and dramatic county season to life for our readers. 

“Bringing them match reports, reaction, analysis and opinion from our top team of reporters, columnists and correspondents, we hope to have enriched their enjoyment of the League and Championships in all four codes. 

“Now it’s over to them as we open the voting for this year’s Irish News Ulster Allstars, which promises to be the biggest yet. 

“I know our knowledgeable readership will enjoy picking their best players from this year’s county season and look forward to seeing who the lucky winners will be when all is revealed in September.”

Irish News editor Noel Doran said: I’m pretty sure that even Hawk-Eye could not over-rule me when I say that September’s ceremony is going to be the biggest and best in the history of the event as we bring together the top performers from our four codes for a celebration of their major achievements over the last 12 months.”