GAA Football

Stars ready to line out for Irish News Allstar awards

Former Ireland rugby star Tommy Bowe will be the guest speaker at tonight's Irish News Allstars at the Armagh City Hotel. Picture by Pacemaker

THE big night has finally arrived and the stars are all set to shine at the 25th Irish News Ulster Allstar awards night in the Armagh City Hotel.

Guest speaker for the evening will be Monaghan man and former Ireland rugby winger Tommy Bowe, while GAA fanatic Rory’s Stories will bring the laughs with some of his famous sketches.

Joanne Cantwell - host of RTE’s The Sunday Game - is back as MC and will reveal who has made it onto the Irish News Ulster Allstar team, with full details appearing in tomorrow’s Irish News.

There will also be hurling, camogie and ladies’ football excellence awards, while a presentation will be made to the Irish News Allstar team of 1999.

The night will finish up with a special award, which will see the best player of the past 25 years of the Irish News Ulster Allstars announced – and there is no shortage of contenders to pick up this prestigious gong.

With an impressive 148 appearances for Ulster and 68 international caps to his name, there are few people better qualified than Tommy Bowe to weigh up where Joe Schmidt’s squad stand as their date with destiny approaches.

However, Bowe is also well-acquainted with Gaelic football having started out his sporting career playing underage for Emyvale and Monaghan.

In a 2017 interview with The Irish News, he recalled playing alongside the likes of Dessie Mone, Paul Finlay, Stephen Gollogly and Vinny Corey during his younger days.

That quartet toiled for a decade and more before they finally tasted real success, winning Ulster titles in 2013 and 2015 – and Bowe was present to see the Anglo-Celt lifted in Clones.

No doubt there will be more reflections on a hugely successful career tonight, and Irish News marketing manager John Brolly is anticipating another enjoyable night.

He said: “We are delighted to have so many stars joining us for our 25th Irish News Ulster Allstars awards night.

“It is a great line-up and I am looking forward to hearing from the talented Tommy Bowe on his successful sporting career across GAA and rugby.

“And to have Joanne Cantwell of The Sunday Game hosting the event after an amazing summer in the hot seat covering the big games will ensure we have a brilliant night.”

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