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WATCH: Ireland and Villa soccer star Conor Hourihane crowned 2019 West Cork Sports Star of the Year

January 18th, 2020 11:45 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Helen Wycherley, Celtic Ross Hotel Director, presents the 2019 West Cork Sports Star of the Year Award to Conor Hourihane.

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REPUBLIC OF IRELAND soccer star Conor Hourihane has been named the 2019 Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Star of the Year.

The Bandon man was crowned the best in the west at the annual gala awards banquet in the Celtic Ross Hotel on Saturday night.

‘I’m absolutely honoured to win the West Cork Sports Star of the Year Award,’ the Aston Villa midfielder said in a video message, as he was in action for his club in their Premier League clash away with Brighton on Saturday afternoon.

‘A huge congrats too to everyone who has won monthly awards over the last 12 months, it’s been a fantastic year for West Cork sports, and all those sportspeople are representing West Cork so, so well.’

In 2019 Hourihane starred for the Republic of Ireland and Aston Villa. Among the many highlights were his match-winning free in Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifying win against Georgia at the Aviva Stadium and winning promotion to the Premier League and in doing so becoming the first West Cork man to ever play in the top flight in England.

Already this season he has seven goals from midfield, including his first Premier League goal, coming against Norwich City last October.

Hourihane is a terrific ambassador for West Cork, the man who went from playing in the Town Park in Bandon as a kid to now playing in the Premier League for Aston Villa.

Also, at the West Cork Sports Star Awards on Saturday night, the West Cork Sports Star Team of the Year Award went to St James’ junior footballers who won the Carbery JAFC title for the first time in 2019, while legendary Coppeen jockey Noel Fehily was inducted into the West Cork Sports Star Hall of Fame.

Cork dual star Fiona Keating, who won All-Ireland minor camogie and football titles with the Rebels in 2019, received the West Cork Sports Star Youth Award. The Doheny ladies’ football team were presented with the West Cork Sports Star Special Achievement Award after they won the 2019 county junior B football title following three successive defeats in that county final.

SEE THURSDAY’S SOUTHERN STAR FOR ALL THE NEWS FROM THE AWARDS

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