Dublin’s Eamonn Fennell and Galway’s Iarla Tannian claim first GAA Player of the Month Awards

Dublin’s Eamonn Fennell and Galway’s Iarla Tannian claim first GAA Player of the Month Awards

Ceremony also sees camogie and ladies football Player of the Year awards announcedTwo new names were added to the GAA Player of the Month Awards list as towering Dublin midfielder Eamonn Fennell and Galway hurling’s high scoring Iarla Tannian today became the first 2010 recipients of awards, sponsored by Vodafone. The ceremony, held at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin, also saw the two leading ladies from last year’s camogie and ladies football seasons, Kilkenny’s Anne Dalton and Cork’s Angela Walsh, respectively, honoured with their 2009 Player of the Year awards.

Powerful Galway hurling star Iarla Tannain was rewarded with the first hurling Player of the Month Award of 2010 for two outstanding league performances in February as his county got off to a flying start in the National Hurling League. The Ardrahan clubman scored 1-2 after being introduced as a sub in the victory over Limerick and, with that game-time under his belt, shot 2-2 from play two weeks later as the Tribesmen overcame Waterford in Salthill.

For Dublin footballer Eamonn Fennell, a first Player of the Month award maintains an outstanding start to the season, with his side riding high at the top of the First Division with four wins out of four. Eamonn gave a powerful performance from midfield in his County’s opening round win over Kerry, scoring two crucial points from play in the process, and he followed that up with another impressive performance in February, in the Parnell Park victory over Derry. Since then, he has gone on to record strong displays from his midfield berth in victories against Mayo and Monaghan and has the distinction now of scoring in all four league games.

Congratulating both players on their awards, tUachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana said: “We are only a couple of months into the season and already we have seen some wonderful individual performances and, in that regard, our award winners today are deserving recipients. The 2010 season is promising to be something really special and no doubt Eamonn and Iarla will have a big say in what lies ahead. Similarly, may I congratulate both Angela Walsh and Anne Dalton on their awards and no doubt they will be serving up many more great performances in 2010 also.”

The 2009 Camogie Player of the Year award is a timely fillip for Anne Dalton, coming at the beginning of a season in which Kilkenny will hope to go one better than last year and regain the All-Ireland title they last won in 1994. Despite last year’s All-Ireland defeat to old rivals Cork, 2009 was a memorable year for Anne Dalton, having earlier captained Waterford IT to an Ashbourne Cup Final – a competition she retained with the college in recent weeks. The 21 year-old Legal Studies student already has three All-Ireland club titles to her name with Freshford St. Lachtain’s.

Congratulating Anne on winning the award, President of the Camogie Association Joan O’Flynn predicted a long and successful career for the current Kilkenny captain. “While Anne may have been disappointed on her biggest day last year by not wining the All Ireland title, her performances throughout the year really stood out, making her a deserving winner of the Vodafone Player of the Year Award. To think that at 21 years-old she has already achieved so much suggests that there are many great days ahead for Anne and Kilkenny camogie,” she said.

The Vodafone Ladies Football Player of the Year Award crowned a magical 2009 for Angela Walsh, who starred at full back as Cork won their fifth title in a row, just one year after she captained Cork to their fourth title on the trot. The former dual player now has seven All-Ireland titles with Cork – five in football and two in camogie (2005 and 2006). The Physical Education and Maths teacher at St. Augustine’s in Dungarvan was also a star player in Inch Rovers’ memorable runs to the All-Ireland club finals of ’07 and ’08.

Speaking at the ceremony, President of the Ladies Football Association Pat Quill said: “Angela has won so many honours already in her career but being selected Vodafone Player of the Year award from a season that saw Cork win their fifth title in a row is a wonderful and much deserved honour for one of the greats of the game. This year Cork will be going for their sixth title in a row and if Angela manages to replicate her ’09 form, they will take some stopping.”

Speaking on behalf of awards sponsors Vodafone, Interim Head of Corporate Affairs Christine Heffernan said: “Vodafone is here again at the start of a new awards season, which is our fourteenth year as sponsors of these awards. These awards give due recognition to the players who entertain us most in these sports and it is great to begin the 2010 awards year by honouring the top hurlers and footballers in the first month of competition as well as the leading ladies of last year in camogie and ladies football. No doubt we will be hearing and seeing a lot more of today’s winners throughout the coming year again and I congratulate them on their deserved awards.”

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