The Mayo Association Dublin hosted their annual awards banquet in the Ballsbridge hotel, Dublin, last Friday night. Over 520 guests were in attendance at the event which saw Maria Walsh, former Rose of Tralee, act as MC on the evening.
Three awards were presented on the night, with the big one, the Virginia Gallagher Mayo Person of the Year award, presented to artisan butcher, Sean Kelly from Newport. Sean's black pudding and other meat products have become famous around the world, along with winning numerous prizes. Sean's family business has been in operation since the 1930s and they currently employ 22 people in the operation.
The other worthy winners on the night were Castlebar swimmer an Olympian, Nicholas Quinn, who was presented with the first ever Young Mayo Person of the Year award. Nicholas is studying psychology at the University of Edinburgh and is currently training for the world championships, he was presented with a beautiful silver medal, which was designed by transition year student, Katie Cosgrave from Swinford.
Ballyhaunis GAA Club won the Meitheal award as a result of the inclusion programme they have organised in the community over recent years, which encourages non-nationals to take part in hurling and Gaelic football in their local community, which has had a hugely positive impact all round. The annual awards banquet was a huge success, enjoyed by all and guests danced the night away to the Brose Walsh Band.