2016 Press Releases

UCC shines spotlight on sports stars

13 Apr 2017
UCC’s top young sports stars will be honoured at the Sports Star Awards 2016/2017 tonight at the River Lee Hotel, to be presented by UCC President, Professor Pat O’Shea.

UCC has achieved another tremendous year in sport, the University’s Director of Sport and Physical Activity Declan Kidney said ahead of this year’s annual Sports Star Awards.

He said the students and clubs continued to wear the skull and bones with pride, achieving successes in intervarsity, club, provincial and international competitions.

“The ladies’ hockey club had a tremendous season, winning the Munster Senior League for the first time since 1992,” he said.

Kidney also praised the soccer club, which won the Collingwood Cup, were CUFL and Harding Cup finalists, and are now enjoying a strong run in the Munster Senior League.

UCC’s top young sports stars will be honoured at this year’s Sports Star Awards 2016/2017 at the River Lee hotel tonight (April 13). The awards, which recognise outstanding performance, will be presented by guest of honour Professor Pat O’Shea, President of UCC.

The 34th edition of the awards ceremony will be attended by personalities from the world of sport, coaches, parents, students, UCC clubs executive and UCC staff.

Declan Kidney praised the sports stars, their coaches and the sports clubs for their performance.

He went on to outline each club’s achievements.

“The Rugby Club retained its Division 1B status in the AIL, finishing the season strongly and depending on how results go next weekend, could be in the play-offs for promotion to Division 1A for next season, which is another tremendous achievement.”

He said GAA had another strong campaign, being the only university in Ireland to qualify for all four finals weekends, narrowly losing out in the finals of the Ashbourne and O’Connor Cup.

“UCC Sailing Club has done well all season,” he said. “Rowing started their season strongly with good results in both the intervarsities, and Skibbereen Regattas held out in the National Rowing Centre last weekend.

“Our fresher ladies’ basketball team brought silverware back to Cork and our association with UCC Glanmire was also a major success with two out of the three national trophies being secured.”

The River Lee hotel continues to be the main event sponsor with Bank of Ireland as co-sponsor. 

The winners

Irish senior athlete Phil Healy, who memorably came from ‘the depths of hell’ to win the women's 4x400m relay at the Irish Universities Athletics Association (IUAA) Championships, will receive her second award, reflecting her success for UCC AC and for representing Ireland at the recent European Indoor Championships. She comfortably won the 400m at the intervarsities for UCC last weekend. She is current 400m indoor champion. She also won the 200m at the IUAA indoor intervarsities in February in an IUAA record time. She is a UCC Sports Scholarship recipient.

Doireann O’Sullivan will pick up her first award for helping the Cork Ladies Gaelic Football team retain their All-Ireland title last September in Dublin. Doireann played a major role in Cork’s continuing success last year. She captained the UCC team who were beaten in the O’Connor Cup final by University of Limerick. Doireann was awarded Player of the Final, scoring all of UCC’s points on the day. She was awarded an All-Star for her performances with Cork and, last weekend, was awarded an All-Star for her performances with UCC. Doireann is a UCC Sports Scholarship recipient.

Adrian O’Sullivan is set to be honoured with his fourth award. He was the basketball team’s top scorer in all their intervarsity matches last weekend and helped them reach the semi-finals. Adrian received an All-Star for his performances. He plays with UCC Demons in the Super League. He has recently been selected on the Irish senior squad as it prepares for next year’s European Championships. He’s a UCC Sports Scholarship and Jason Foley Memorial Scholarship recipient.

Cork senior intercounty player Ian Maguire will take home his first award for Gaelic football. Ian played a captain’s role in UCC’s Sigerson Cup run this season when they were narrowly beaten by eventual winners St Mary’s after extra time in the semi-finals. Ian is a regular with the Cork Seniors and is looking forward to a summer of football after returning from a serious back injury last year.

Daniel Pender and Sean McLoughlin will both win their first awards for soccer. Sean was capped by the Irish amateur team this year. He played a major role in UCC’s Collingwood Cup success in Maynooth and was awarded Player of the Tournament. He is part of the senior team hoping to win the Munster Senior League title. He is a member of the Combined Colleges team and is hoping to make the World Student Games Squad going to Taiwan this summer.

It’s Daniel’s third year with UCC. He was top scorer for UCC in their Collingwood Cup success. A former Waterford Utd player, Daniel is also hoping to make the Irish squad heading to the World Student Games. He is also part of the senior team vying for Munster Senior League honours. Daniel is a Roy Keane/UCC Sports Scholarship recipient, while Sean is a UCC Sports Scholarship recipient.

Robert O’Donovan will win his first award for his role in ensuring UCC Rugby Club retained their All- Ireland Division 1B League status. Rob joined UCC at the beginning of the 2015/2016 season as a fresher and went straight into the senior team and has had a tremendous season this year. He has represented Munster and Ireland at U20 level. Robert is part of the Munster Development and Munster ‘A’ squads. Robert is a UCC Sports Scholarship recipient.

All-Ireland camogie medal winner Orla Cronin will be presented with her first award for her performances with UCC in the Colleges League and Ashbourne Cup – where UCC reached the finals. She was part of the Cork team who were beaten All-Ireland finalists. Her home club Enniskeane were County Intermediate Finalists in 2016. She was awarded an Ashbourne All-Star Award for her performances with UCC this season. She is a UCC Sports Scholarship recipient.

All-Ireland hurling winner Michael Breen from Tipperary will take away the hurling award. He captained UCC in its quest for Fitzgibbon Cup glory this year. They were beaten in the semi-finals. He was the only UCC player to receive an All-Star for his performances in the Fitzgibbon Cup series. He was also a Railway Cup medal winner with Munster in 2016. Michael is a Michael J Dowling and UCC Sports Scholarship recipient.

Emma Barber will be recognised with her first UCC Sports Star Award for her performances with UCC Hockey Club in the Munster Senior league. UCC went through the Munster League unbeaten and Emma played a crucial role in their success. UCC also competed in the Munster Senior Cup Final – losing out narrowly to Irish Senior Cup Finalists and EY League side Cork Harlequins. She is a member of the Irish U21 panel and is a UCC Sports Scholarship recipient.

This year’s Special Achievement Award, the Kieran Dowd Perpetual Award, will be presented at tonight's ceremony.

The full list of UCC Sports Star Awards 2016-17 winners:

Phil Healy                                     Athletics                                 Bandon, Co. Cork

Adrian O Sullivan                          Basketball                               Ballincollig, Co. Cork

Orla Cronin                                   Camogie                                 Enniskeane, Cork

Ian Maguire                                  Gaelic Football                        Cork

Doireann O Sullivan                      Ladies’ Gaelic Football             Mourneabbey, Co. Cork

Michael Breen, Hurling                  Hurling                                   Tipperary

Robert O Donovan                        Rugby                                     Ballygarvan, Co. Cork

Sean McLoughlin                          Soccer                                    Cobh, Co. Cork

Daniel Pender                               Soccer                                    Waterford

Emma Barber                               Ladies Hockey                         Rochestown, Cork


For more on this story contact:

Christine O'Donovan, Deputy Director of Sport & Physical Activity, UCC: 021 4904752, 087 2470344, or codonovan@ucc.ie.


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