Former Mayo senior football manager James Horan has been announced as the winner of the Muintir Mhaigh Eo Atha Cliath Mayo Person of the Year for 2015. The announcement was made yesterday evening by Muintir Mhaigh Eo Atha Cliath in the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin. The winner of the annual Meitheal Award was also revealed yesterday evening with the Dolmen Clubhouse Ltd, which comprises the Dolmen Clubhouse in Ballina and the Cairde Clubhouse in Castlebar, picking up the award for this year.
The award winners were picked by an independent panel of adjudicators comprising Joanne Cantwell (RTÉ sports commentator ), Merissa Carter (CEO of CocoBrown ), and Jack Teeling (managing director of Teeling Whiskey ).
Both awards will be presented at the Mayo Association Dublin gala banquet on Saturday February 7 at the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4. The adjudicators’ decision to select James Horan as the 2015 Virginia Gallagher Memorial Award winner is in recognition of his commitment to Mayo, both as a footballer and as a manager.
In the citation for Mr Horan receiving the award, Muintir Mhaigheo Eo Atha Cliath said: “As manager of the Mayo senior team from 2010 until August 2014, James Horan succeeded in transforming the fortunes of the Mayo football team and giving Mayo people reason to dream and feel a sense of pride as the Mayo team played flowing, hard, honest football.
“In the last four years, his achievements in making the senior Mayo footballers the most consistent in the country has brought a sense of wellbeing and pride to every Mayo man and woman, not just in Ireland but around the world. James Horan’s dedication to the game of Gaelic football and his untiring work with the Mayo football team has brought great joy and huge excitement to the county and a sense that anything is possible, which is crucial at a time when economic hardship has cast a shadow across the land. A worthy winner of this award, James Horan’s endeavours to make a valued contribution to Mayo, the county, and its people are now being recognised and celebrated across the land.”
The Meitheal award is given to an organisation that embodies the spirit of work, co-operation, and spirit of local community. With this in mind Muintir Mhaigh Eo Atha Cliath selected The Dolmen Clubhouse Ltd as the 2015 winners. The Dolmen Clubhouse Ltd (Dolmen Clubhouse Ballina and Cairde Club, Castlebar ) was set upon 2001 under the social economy programme to provide an out of hours drop in centre for mental health service users. With locations in Ballina and Castlebar, it provides a much needed facility for people with mental health issues, with its services delivering social, recreational, and cultural amenities which can help reduce the risk of re-admission to hospital. Dolmen Clubhouse Ltd is a vital cog in the mental health services in the county. Dolmen House Ltd seeks to promote greater respect and understanding within the community for people with mental health difficulties. It has stood out from the crowd for its outstanding contribution to social care and inclusion.