Over the previous year, on a monthly basis, players from hurling, camogie, boys and girls football, as well as Scór were honoured as they epitomised all that is good about the GAA.
Monthly winners, in order from last January included Sam Maguires; Scór na nÓg winners, Maggie Moynihan (Cullen) and Carbery Rangers; Saint Mary’s High School, Midleton; Muireann O’Brien from Kilworth and Celine Kelleher from Boherbue who won the Girls U15 All-Ireland doubles handball title; Cork minor camogie team who won the All-Ireland title; Sarsfields camogie team, winners of the Féile na nGael Division 1 Cup and St Finbarr’s hurling team, winners of the Féile na nGael Division 1 Shield; Cork U15 and U16 football teams; Éire Óg U14 ladies footballers; St Vincent’s U15 hurling team and the Mayfield U15 footballers; Midleton winners of the Premier 1 Minor Hurling championship; St Michael’s, winners of the Premier 1 MFC and Presentation Brothers College, winners of the U16.5 Schools Hurling Championship.
But there can only be one overall winner and that was the Cork minor camogie team, who won the All-Ireland title at A level for the first time.
Mick Evans, chairman of the awards judging panel, introduced the Hall of Fame winner, Sean Cooney, who is steeped in the GAA and who among his many other contributions was central to the establishment of the Rebel Óg committee.
He played hurling and football from U14 grade to Intermediate hurling and Junior A football with Carrigaline, and he played senior hurling and football with Carrigdhoun division. Sean won an All-Ireland Junior Hurling Championship medal for Cork in 1955 and a Munster Junior Championship medal in 1959.
The guest speaker on the night was Joanne O’Riordan, who at this stage needs no introduction. She amazed all with her story and sense of humour and was the highlight of the night for many.