SAM MAGUIRE FESTIVAL 2008

SAM MAGUIRE FESTIVAL 2008.

PRESS INFORMATION IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13-8-08

 

Michael O’Muricheartaigh National Sports Commentator of the Year Award

A Tyrone journalist and broadcaster has become the first recipient of a brand new national radio award.

Q101.2fm commentator and sports journalist Paddy Hunter collected “The Michael O’Muricheartaigh National Sports Commentator of the Year Award” at the annual Sam Maguire Festival in Dunmanway County Cork. (Birthplace of the man who, the most prized possession in gaelic football is named after).

The Omagh based commentator had beat off stiff competition from all over Ireland to claim the honour of being the first winner of the special commissioned piece of sculpture by the famous sculptress Cliana Cussen.

The voice of gaelic games, Kerry’s own Michael O’Muricheartaigh himself handed over the award that he was delighted to give his name to, to the Tyrone man quipping it might be the first of three or indeed the only title going to the O’Neill county in the coming days. A thought towards next weekends double all Ireland final appearance by the Tyrone seniors and minors.

Speaking to a packed gathering that included former GAA president Sean Kelly and incoming president Corks Christy Coney, the RTE broadcast legend spoke of the importance of and the wonderful work done by local radio over the country,

“In 1926 there was only one radio station on this island now there are dozens, covering the length and breadth of the country all covering our gaelic games,”

“ I am delighted to lend my name to this award and to be associated with it, I trust it will be a fitting reward to he local broadcasters who do so much work”

Festival director Declan Hurley outlined the background to the award,

“ We continue to develop the Sam Maguire Festival here in Dunmanway and this award opens the interest to a national audience, we contacted all the local radio stations on the island of Ireland, we had a stunning response, the quality of the entrants was superb and a big judging panel had quite a difficult job. In the end though I am delighted that Paddy Hunter from Tyrone was confirmed as the very first winner at our special corporate event”

The winner, Paddy Hunter is based with Q101 in Omagh but covers a wide range of sports for the six radio stations within the Northern Media group.The former Omagh St Enda’s hurler, handballer and GAA administrator has covered Tyrone, Fermanagh and Ulster football since the Omagh stations inception in 2002 and luckily for him it coincided with the most successful years of Tyrone and Fermanagh gaelic football in there histories.

Currently preparing for Tyrone’s double all Ireland final day on the 21st Paddy said it was remarkable to win the award,

“To say I was shocked when I got the call would be an understatement, I am deeply honoured to be the first winner and to receive the Michael O’Muricheartaigh award from the man himself was the icing on the cake”

“ I must thank the judges and the festival committee, my family and my match analysts especially Noel McGinn who are always so supportive”

Q101 and the sister stations cover inter county football and hurling but club football also plays a vital part of every weekend’s schedule.

The Omagh born journalist was quick to point out though that all sport is important to him and while being sports editor with such a large network is demanding it really is a labour of love.

The Festival committee are hopeful the award will help raise the profile of the festival in the years to come but Declan Hurley admitted to win the first award is something special,

“As Paddy said there in his speech, winning the first of anything is extra special, we hope to see the award develop but there can only be one first winner and that we are delighted to say is Paddy Hunter “

 

The Sam Maguire Festival continues in Dunmanway County Cork until Sunday night 14th September. It is planned the event will run earlier in the year 2009 to coincide with the 125 anniversary celebrations of the GAA.

 

ENDS…………………………………………………..

 

Contact Rose Kelly

dunmanwaypromotions@eircom.net

 

Michael O’Muricheartaigh National Sports Commentator of the Year Award

winner Paddy Hunter is available for interview
02882245777 Work / 07762 814 881 Mobile / 00 44 7762814881
sport@q101west.fm
paddyhunter@hotmail.com

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