2020 GAA MacNamee Award Winners
The winners of the 2020 MacNamee Awards have been confirmed by the GAA.
The GAA National Communication and Media Awards are named after the late Pádraig MacNamee, former President of the GAA, Chairman of the GAA Commission (1969-1971) and member of the RTÉ authority.
They are presented annually in recognition of outstanding contributions made by individuals and Association units in the area of media and communications. Due to the Covid 19 situation the presentation of the MacNamee Awards has been postponed until a future date.
Uachtarán CLG Larry McCarthy offered his congratulations to the winners. He said:
“From its earliest days the GAA understood the importance of communication with its membership and the power of being able to tell and share its story far and wide.
“The GAA’s MacNamee Awards allow us to recognise those individuals who have performed exemplary work in this field and whose contribution to GAA communications is of the highest standard.
“Congratulations to all of the winners. The diverse range of awards reflects the fact that communication is ever evolving and we remain committed to ensuring that Gaelic games remains seen and heard in this busy landscape.
“I want to particularly pay tribute to Hall of Fame inductee Seán Bán Breathnach and salute his life-long dedication to GAA journalism across so many different platforms. Thar ceann Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, míle buíochas a Sheáin.”
The winners of the 2020 MacNamee Awards are as follows:
2020 Best GAA Publication – ‘Len Gaynor - Chiselled from Ash” by Shane Brophy
In a world flooded with sports biographies and autobiographies, Chiselled From Ash stands out as a very readable personal tale filled with emotion, humour and, above all, a love for the game of hurling. In this story of the life and times of Len Gaynor we learn about his journey to the top of his game, bear witness to some thrilling matchday memories and come to understand the importance of the GAA Club. Contributions from hurling legends and other prominent GAA figures add an extra depth to this book which is filled with real insights into the experiences of the flamboyant wing back. Chiselled from Ash also introduces us to some very memorable and uniquely hurling characters as Len looks back on seven decades of a love affair with the small ball.
2020 Best GAA Club Publication – Knockmore GAA Club 60th Anniversary
The Knockmore GAA Club 60th anniversary book is a wonderful retrospective of the story of the club. The club’s history is chartered chronologically through the book year by year with great taglines for each year by way of introduction. The use of pictures throughout helps bring their story to life. The presentation is excellent, it is a substantial book, and the landscape design makes it accessible. The 2020 county senior football champions who have reached the 2021 decider at the time of writing, Knockmore GAA club was formed in 1958, but from the moment they won their first major title via a North Mayo junior crown in 1968 they have been a club wasting no time to make a big impact. Since winning senior status in 1972 they’ve won the senior crown nine times and counting with the club’s ladies' teams a beacon of inspiration also.
2020 Best Website – Blarney GAA Club – blarneygaa.ie
Blarney’s website has a very modern feel to it; a fresh design and good use of media. Lots of news, features and sub-sections which are up to date. Navigation across the site is clear, information is easily attained, and the search function performs well. Links to their social media sites are available and additional sections such as the galleries and ‘Blarney Quizes’ section adds further character to the site and is welcoming for members, both new and old. In addition, there are comprehensive sections on Child Safety & Wellbeing, which are so important in this day and age. Their Club History & Roll of Honour sections also caught the eye, with detailed information on the club, it’s vision and their teams. This site has something for everyone, catering to all within the Blarney GAA Community.
Digital Impact Award – Armagh GAA
The Armagh TV & PR Team are deserving winners of the 2020 MacNamee Award for Best Digital Impact. Their innovative and consistently excellent approach to engaging the Armagh GAA Community, both at home and overseas, ensured that Armagh GAA maintained, and indeed enhanced, its engagement with the GAA fraternity throughout the pandemic. The viewing and engagement statistics for their campaigns provide evidence that the content delivered was both relevant and unique and, no doubt, helped many Gaels through the tedium of lockdown. Providing access to the public to view the Club championships (in all codes) was done in a comprehensive and professional manner with excellent pre-match, post-match analysis and commentary. Similarly, being able to successfully deliver events like Club All-stars, inter-county Jersey launches and club draws in a virtual format is further testament the excellence of the digital team in Armagh.
Community Contribution Award – Beal an Mhuirthead GAA Club, Belmullet
The nomination came from an individual in the community that saw and highlighted the community impact from their own personal interaction with the GAA club community outreach program. The challenges faced by communities in rural Ireland was evident in the distance the volunteers covered in deliveries of grocers and medicines. The GAA club planned, organised and went that extra mile to help and support their community daily.
There was a genuine sense of community spirit. The familiar faces helping each other, and the extra time spent to have a chat with members of the community who were very lonely during the lockdown months of the Covid pandemic were invaluable.
2020 Best Photograph – David Fitzgerald, Sportsfile
In the year that was COVID and multiple lockdowns, this image not only portrays the joy of the sport but the love of supporters. Rarely do you see an image where multiple faces tell the same story - a story of relief, excitement and the enthrallment of attending a sporting venue once again.
2020 Best Programme GAA – Armagh Senior Football Championship Final Programme
This production is contemporarily designed with excellently chosen content. The decision to focus attention on the fixture means that each editorial and statistics page has a refreshingly ‘easy on the eye’ look while holding the curiosity of the reader. There is a simplicity of design to the team pages and some very welcome info-graphs displaying interest-peaking information.
2020 Best GAA Related Radio Programme – Adrian Eames, RTE Radio Sport– Bloody Sunday Commemoration
Broadcast live from Croke Park during the Bloody Sunday Commemoration. This entry was selected for the manner in which it brought the commemoration of one of the most poignant days in GAA history to a worldwide radio audience, with a recap of the history of the day, mixed with live inserts of the pageantry, the laying of the wreath by an tUachtarán and the playing of the special musical composition commissioned for the occasion.
2020 Provincial Media Award – ‘Rubbing Shoulders with Giants’ – by Damian Dolan, The Irish World
The article is brilliantly researched, detailed and sets out the unlikely story of a multi-talented Dublin football team - on a quest to win the 2011 All-Ireland under Pat Gilroy - playing London club team Parnell's in May 2011 at Ruislip.
It's a brilliant local London look at an untold story of the part played by an under-strength London club side (whose best players were representing the county team that weekend) in Dublin's first All Ireland success for 16 years. The piece details Dublin's training camp in London and how they used London Irish RFC's ground in Sunbury as their base. An interview with Pat Gilroy - among many others - sheds great light into this trip. It's a wholly unique piece, entertaining, fresh, and a great piece of local journalism.
2020 National Media Award – Fintan O’Toole, The 42.ie “My grandfather, sporting memories and a Kerry team playing on All-Ireland Hurling final day”
If you were to really examine your love of Gaelic Games and try to pinpoint where it comes from, there's a very good chance it's all about family. The passion for club and county that was passed down, the trips to matches as a child with older relatives, the support of parents and siblings on the days you laced up a pair of boots yourself.
Fintan O'Toole's beautifully written article about his Grandfather, Patie O'Sullivan, is an elegy to how a love of Gaelic Games is what binds so many families together. It's full of wry humour, and the colourful picture it paints of a man who loved sport and family will feel universal for so many readers who inherited their own passion for Gaelic Games from those that went before them.
2020 Gradam na Gaeilge (Irish Language Award) – Conall Ó Máirtín, BBC Uladh - ‘Domhnach na Fola’
Is don chlár faisnéise ‘Domhnach na Fola’ a craoladh ar BBC Uladh, a bronnadh Gradam na Gaeilge i mbliana. Caitear súil siar sa chlár seo ar Dhomhnach na Fola sa bhliain 1920 agus tríd an gceol, trí mhaisíocht fuaime, trí shuíomhanna éagsúla chomh maith le hagallaimh, tugtar ar aistear muid siar ar an méid a thit amach an lá tragóideach sin.
Clár siamsúil a bhí anseo ina ndearnadh sárthaighde ann. Bhí an méid a bhí ann suimiúil, ómósach agus thug sé ábhar machnaimh don lucht éisteachta. Léiríodh tuisicnt shoiléir ar ábhar an chláir agus ar an tionchar a bhí aige ar mhórphobal Chumann Lúthchleas Gael. Léiríodh agus cuireadh i láthair go han-éifeachtach é. Bhí an rogha ceoil an-fheiliúnach chomh maith leis an mhaisíocht fuaime agus luas an cháir. Lig sé sin don lucht éisteacha análú agus gach rud a pléadh a shníomh isteach.
The winner of Gradam na Gaeilge this year is the radio documentary Domhnach na Fola broadcast on BBC Uladh. The programme looks at Bloody Sunday in 1920 and through the use of music, sound effects, locations and interviews, we are brought on a journey showing us what happened on that fateful day.
This was a well-researched and entertaining programme. The content was interesting, respectful and thought provoking. There was a clear understanding of the topic at hand and the impact that it had on the GAA community and this was a well-produced and presented programme. The music choice was excellent as was the sound effects and the pace of the programme allowed the listener to breathe and take in everything that was being said. An enjoyable listen.
Special Merit Award – Michael Foley, Sunday Times
In recognition of Michael’s extraordinary commitment to the telling of the Bloody Sunday at Croke Park story of 1920 and at ensuring that the memory of the 14 innocent lives lost at the stadium that day were appropriately remembered in the centenary year. His assistance in what has been the Bloody Sunday Graves Project is also recognised. Michael’s body of work across print, radio, tv, digital media, lectures and podcasts ensured that every possible medium was used in honouring the memory of those who died.
Hall of Fame – Seán Bán Breathnach
Bhí Seán Bán Breathnach i gcroí-lár go leor den chraoladh spóirt a rinne Raidió na Gaeltachta le beagnach 50 bliain anuas.
I dtús na 1970idí, dfhill an ‘Fear Bán’ abhaile as Sasana nuair a fuair sé beagán oibre ó Raidió RTÉ ag cur clár pop-cheoil i láthair trí mheán na Gaeilge, ach le teacht Raidió na Gaeltachta i 1972. D’fhill sé ar Chonamara.
Agus an eagraíocht sin ag leagan agus ag cur leis an gcraoladh spóirt a bhí uaithi dá lucht éisteachta, bhí Seán lárnach i dtráchtaireachtaí spórt ar Chluiche Idir-Chontae Chumann Lúthchleas Gael.
Ní raibh na raidióanna áitiúla ar an saol ag an am sin agus ba é Raidió na Gaeltachta a thug faoin gcraoladh ar chluichí na gclubanna – rud nár déanadh riamh roimhe. Bhí Domhnach stairiúíl faoi leith i bhFómhar ceann de na 1980idí nuair a chraoladar cluichí ceannais as cúig chontae faoi leith.
A chuid tráchtaireachta ba mhó a thuill clú do Sheán, ach bhí sé sáite freisin i gcláracha irise agus i sraitheanna leis na laochra móra as an am atá caite.
Tá dlúthbhaint aige le craoladh Chomórtais Peile na Gaeltachta le breis agus 40 bliain.
Thug teacht TnaG/TG4 breis deiseanna ina bhelach, ach is dóigh liom go n-admhódh sé féin gur sa raidió atá a chroí.
Seán Bán Breathnach has been at the forefront of Raidió na Gaeltachta’s coverage of sport for the best part of half a century.
Having returned from England as a long-haired blonde hippy in the very early 1970’s, he obtained some part-time work from RTÉ Raidio presenting a pop-music programme ‘as Gaeilge’.
The advent of Raidió na Gaeltachta in 1972 saw him return to his native Connemara.
As that organisation mapped the vision of its sports reporting Seán played a central part in commentaries of the GAA’s inter-county football and hurling competitions.
Local radio was then still some way off, and Raidió na Gaeltachta pioneered the broadcasting of county championship matches, in all grades – covering 5 county finals on one famous Sunday in the mid 1980’s.
Seán is most famous for his commentaries, but his sports magazine programmes and his series of interviews with players of the past have earned great acclaim.
For over 40 years, he has been closely associated with Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta.
The advent of TnaG/TG4 opened up another avenue for his talents and made the spectrum broader – but I think that he would admit himself that he is a ‘radio-head’ at heart.