The first Gorey Civic Awards were presented at the Ashdown Park Hotel on Thursday night where sports groups dominated the proceedings.
Chairman of Gorey Municipal District Council, Cllr John Hegarty acted as master of ceremonies and explained the significance of the awards while each group was introduced by a sitting member of the council.
NAOMH ÉANNA GAA CLUB were first up and introduced by Cllr Joe Sullivan. The club had many highlights down through the years but 2018 was their year of greatest achievement when they brought the R.J. Bowe Cup to Gorey for the very first time as proud County Senior Hurling Champions. Nicky Stafford, Louis Cullen and Pat Doyle accepted the award on behalf of the club.
GOREY RUGBY CLUB has been on an upward curve and have plans to expand the club premises at Clonattin. Cllr Pip Breen outlined the club’s history and development and recalled the names of the founders. The club has greatly expanded to cater for all ages groups and seniors and the ambition is to soon win the Provincial Towns’ Cup. Niall Slattery accepted the award.
ST. PATRICK’S SNOOKER CLUB is located on The Avenue close to the junction with the Main Street and has had its share of champions over a long history. Cllr Robbie Ireton recalled the days when it was called ‘the temperance club’ and he was thrilled that it is still going strong. One of the great promotors of the club was popular shopkeeper Myles Doyle and his son John recalled his father playing snooker in St. Patrick’s at the age of 88!
GOREY TENNIS CLUB is stronger that ever catering for all ages at a new premises off Esmonde Street. The history of the club was outlined by Cllr Mary Farrell while Carmel Roice and Ger Murphy explained a lot of the seasonal activity that goes on and both encouraged more people to taken up the game, join Gorey Tennis Club, and make friends and have a sporting life.
KILANERIN-BALLYFAD GAA CLUB was promoted by Cllr Anthony Donohoe. Amongst the club’s achievements are seven county senior football championship titles. The club has excellent facilities which developed from the new community centre in 1999. Colin Kavanagh and Denis Jones represented the club at the awards ceremony and were justifiably proud of their sporing feats.
GOREY RANGERS SOCCER CLUB was founded in 1962 and in the early years played in the Wicklow League with success before taking a premier position in the Wexford League. 2018 has been their greatest year winning the Wexford Cup and the club are still in the last 16 of the All-Ireland Junior Club. Cllr Fionntán Ó Suillebhán said Gorey Rangers has a wide range of age-groups, including a ‘nippers academy’!
Cllr Malcolm Byrne spoke to representatives of the winning clubs on stage and outlined where the clubs stood at present and if they had further plans for development or progress and all replied positively which shows that sporting talent is active and successful in North Wexford.