GAA entries honoured in human rights through sport awards
By John Harrington
Two GAA entries were honoured on Thursday night at the TRUST Ireland Awards Ceremony.
TRUST is a partnership project led by Munster Technological University on human rights and sport funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union with Ireland's funding from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
Entrants submitted photos or videos on what "human rights in and through sport" means to them, along with a short caption explaining their choice.
Winner of the best video entry was Ballinteer St John's club-man, Bonnar Ó Loinsigh, who gave a powerful testimony as to how playing hurling transformed his life after arriving in Ireland as a refugee from Iraq.
"I was nine years old when I and my family moved to Ireland as refugees from Iraq in search of a better life, and thanks to the GAA that's exactly what I have now," said Ó Loinsigh.
"Joining my local club, Ballinteer St. John's, helped me make friends and become a respected member of my community, discover a sporting obsession and really feel like Ireland was my home.
"The most important human right is equality, and that is what playing hurling has given me.
"In the GAA we all belong, no matter who we are or where we come from. I felt the power of that equality and it transformed my life."
Winner of the best picture entry was photographer Paul Dargan who took a fantastic photograph of Jack Bolton on the day the Graiguecullen youngster was Laois team mascot and vice-captain when they defeated Carlow to win promotion from Division 4 of the Allianz Football League in 2018.