ON Sunday evening, Rásaíocht Con Éireann / Greyhound Racing Ireland hosted the 2020 National Greyhound Racing Awards, honouring the stars in Greyhound Racing last year.
Three Human Awards were also presented, and it was Cork GAA legend Jimmy Barry Murphy who received the special Hall of Fame award.
In line with the current restrictions on gatherings in place, this year’s event was held virtually.
Speaking at the Awards, Jimmy Barry Murphy said: "Greyhound racing has been a huge part of my life along with hurling and football.
"Some of the most fantastic people and great sportspeople I ever met in my life are involved in greyhound racing.
"My father was deeply involved in greyhounds. I got involved through my father (Lord to mercy in him) and my uncle Dinny, and his son John Barry Murphy.
"We had some great times there and we were always looking for the super dog we'd love to have, and we had some very good dogs over the years.
"Greyhound racing was always part of our lives and a huge part at that
"I love going to the track and I'm so sorry for all the people we have lost during the pandemic and great supporters of all sports.
"The track is a social aspect of my life, meeting all my friends and old colleagues. Hopefully, we will back at the track soon.
"When we got back involved in fundraising for the Laurels, people like Tony Winters, Damien Holland, Mick Driscoll, JJ Fennelly, Vincent O'Donovan, all did massive work, and I was just part of the group.
"I think the response we got when we went about that Laurel's fundraising showed that there is a massive groundswell of support for Greyhound Racing in this country and it's something we have to build on.
"Since we took over the Laurels two years ago, we have been blessed with two fantastic finals. John Linehan winning the Laurels last year, a great family friend of mine and before that, Kieran Lynch winning it, another great friend, both from Cork.
"So, it's been lucky that we have had two local winners, but that wouldn't be always the case, but it was remarkable that it did happen in the first two years.
"Both were tremendously popular winners locally."
Known for his long history as a GAA player and manager, Jimmy Barry Murphy is regarded as one of the most iconic players in the history of the Gaelic Games.
To the greyhound racing community, he is known as a lifelong fan of greyhound racing and the man who spearheaded “The Friends and Supporters of Cork Greyhound Racing Committee” in 2019.
This group were established to raise the sponsorship contribution for the Irish Greyhound Laurels.
After a local and nationwide “call to arms” to individuals and businesses, enough funding was pledged to not only guarantee the event for 2019 but for four years until 2022.
Hosted by Ian Fortune, the event honoured greyhounds in seven different award categories with the ultimate award of Supreme Greyhound of the Year going to 2020 National Produce Stakes and Irish Greyhound Derby Winner Newinn Taylor.