LAST weekend, at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery, we were delighted to honour the West Cork Sports Stars of 2016 at a gala banquet. Of the 19 years of these awards, it was the best ever, the pinnacle being the silver medal-winning performances – on and off the water – of Skibbereen oarsmen Gary and Paul O’Donovan at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
They have received all sorts of accolades nationally and internationally, but as they said in one of their rare serious moments, the Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Star of the Year award means more to them than all the others, as this is where they got early recognition and encouragement before they became famous. It was fitting also that their coach Dominic Casey was honoured with the Hall of Fame award.
Hats off also to Club of the Year Bandon GAA, Team of the Year Carbery Rangers and Youth Sports Star of the Year Darragh McElhinney.