WHEN Southern Star sports editor Kieran McCarthy’s interview with Bantry football legend Damian O’Neill appeared in the Star in February 2021, the former Cork footballer gave it his thumbs up.
‘Straight to the point. No bullsh*t,’ he said.
And now that long read on O’Neill has received further recognition after Kieran McCarthy was named the winner of the 2021 Provincial Media Award in the annual MacNamee Awards announced on Wednesday.
‘Kieran McCarthy's informative article about Damian O'Neill's career in The Southern Star captures a real passion for Gaelic Games. Several people are interviewed about O'Neill, who enjoyed pleasant and painful days with Bantry Blues and Cork during a stint ravaged by serious injury,’ read the press release, as the winners of the 2021 and 2022 MacNamee Awards were revealed.
This award-winning read tells the story of O'Neill who has been described as the greatest footballer that Cork never had. When the Bantry Blues man was at his best, a cruciate ligament injury in May 1997 stopped him in his tracks. Kieran McCarthy sat down with O’Neill to chat about his inter-county career that could have been, but got much, much more. Former Cork manager Larry Tompkins and O’Neill’s Bantry team-mate Des McAuley also add their insight to build the story around the no-nonsense footballer who came from the richest of Bantry GAA stock.
The MacNamee Awards will be presented by GAA President Larry McCarthy at a special ceremony at Croke Park on Friday, October 13th.
Star Sports editor McCarthy has previously won the LGFA Journalist of the Year and the Local Ireland Sports Story of the Year in 2016, led the Star to the Camogie Association Local Paper of the Year award, while his first book, Something in the Water, was shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards.