Amanda Murphy wins 2nd Irish Examiner award

Amanda Murphy Wins 2nd Irish Examiner Junior Sports Star Award

Cork Ladies Footballer Amanda Murphy among Winners at Prestigious Dublin Awards Ceremony

Sir Alex Ferguson Delivers Keynote Address

Thursday, February 28th 2008. Cork Ladies Footballer Amanda Murphy were honoured as one of Ireland’s most promising sporting prospects at the Irish Examiner National Junior Sports Stars Awards 2007 at a ceremony in Dublin.  This annual event is the country’s only award scheme for junior sportspersons, honouring outstanding sporting achievement of young people, aged between 15 and 19, across a wide range of sporting disciplines.

Amanda Murphy has countless All Ireland medals in her locker, but the Beara forward starred for the Rebelettes in 2007 scoring three points in the final against Mayo.  She also led the minor side to a second consecutive All Ireland title and received her second Irish Examiner National Junior Sports Star Award.

In the other GAA codes Galway Footballer Paul Conroy, Tipperary Hurler Noel McGrath and Limerick Camogie player Niamh Mulcahy were recognised as the outstanding talents in their respective sports

Tony Leen, Irish Examiner Sports Editor commenting on the awards today said, “Seeing sportspeople on the cusp of the big breakthrough is always a thrill, and the graduates from this particular programme are evidence enough of that.  For our part, there’s a pride in spotting tomorrow’s stars today. Sometimes it’s easy to see the prodigy who’ll dominate the headlines for years to come. Others have that indefinable something; it’s raw, or unpolished, but it’s there, and the adult career vindicates the faith our judges showed.”

Sir Alex Ferguson, Guest speaker at the event said, I have always been of the belief that if you encourage youth in sport, you will be rewarded on the double. These awards are not only a signpost to the next generation of sports stars from this country, they are also a timely fillip for the teenagers themselves. Even the most successful young sportsperson requires reassurance at times.”

Rory McIlroy was one of last year’s winners and has since joined the European Tour and won the top amateur prize at the British Open.   Other former winners include such luminaries of Irish sporting achievement as Roy Keane, Sonia O’Sullivan, Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Bernard Dunne, Gordon D’Arcy, Damien Duff and Ruby Walsh.

Conroy is joined by fellow tribesman Vincent Muldoon, who wins an Irish Examiner National Junior Sports Stars Award for his success at the snooker table.  The 17-year-old has already won an Irish Senior Snooker Championship and as well as reaching the semi-finals of last year’s European Senior Championships and World U21’s.

It has been quite awhile since the Irish public has been able to get excited about an Irish swimmer but when Dubliner Andrew Meegan smashed Irish Olympian Kevin Williamson’s 31-year-old junior 1500m record he certainly made a big splash.  Meegan also recently set a new Irish Senior record time for the 1500m freestyle.

Many current Irish soccer legends have graduated with an Irish Examiner National Junior Sports Stars Award and Crystal Palace’s Sean Scannell will want to follow in the footsteps of Roy Keane, Damien Duff and current Republic of Ireland senior captain Robbie Keane.  Scannell scored his first senior championship goal for his club four days after making his senior debut and is tipped to make the transition to full international grade in the coming years.

In 2007, 15-year-old Armagh schoolgirl Amy Stewart became the youngest ever player to represent Ireland in hockey at senior level.  Amy replaced her older sister, Emma, as the youngest ever hockey player to line out in green.  Emma is also a former winner of an Irish Examiner Junior Sports Stars Award.

Other notable winners in 2007 include Cavan boxing sensation John Joe Nevin, who is on track for London 2012 having won gold at an international round robin tournament in Donegal.

The Irish Examiner National Junior Sports Stars Awards were introduced by the Irish Examiner in 1984.  Nominations are invited, via the newspaper, from members of the public and sporting representatives.  The overall winners are then selected by the Irish Examiner Sports Editorial team in consultation with the relevant governing bodies.

Today’s event was attended by the winners, their families and friends, coaches, sporting representatives as well as leading figures in the Irish sports industry.

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