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Cavanagh tops writers’ poll for Footballer of Year

It seems there is just no end to the avalanche of honours currently coming the way of Tyrone ace Sean Cavanagh.

In the last three weeks he has landed a coveted All Star award, earned the Footballer of the Year accolade and been feted as the Tennent's Ulster GAA Writers’ monthly merit award winner for September.

Now he has added two more strings to his considerable bow. Not only did he lead Ireland to outright success in the International Rules series against Australia but he was hailed as the Tennent's Ulster GAA Writers’ Footballer of the Year at Saturday night's awards banquet in Monaghan.

"To be honoured as the Footballer of the year by the writers is a great distinction but I would have to say that other players like Brian Dooher or Enda McGinley would have been worthy recipients of this prize. I'm very happy to accept it, though, on the basis that without the rest of the team I would never have won it," said Cavanagh.

Nor was he the only high-profile Tyrone GAA figure honoured at the banquet. County team boss, Mickey Harte captured the prestigious Personality of the Year award while Ryan Pickering collected the Cormac McAnallen Young Achiever of the Year prize after captaining St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon to MacRory and Hogan Cup glory and sharing in Tyrone's Ulster and All Ireland Minor title triumphs.

Karl Stewart, outstanding for St Galls and Antrim, lifted the Hurler of the Year award while Donegal's Jimmy White was acknowledged as Referee of the Year and long-serving Vocational Schools dynamo Tony McCaffrey picked up the Services to Gaelic Games trophy.

The fair sex were also well represented at the awards. Deirdre Donnelly, Fermanagh's dynamic PRO, won the Communications award while Antrim's Jane Adams picked up the Camogie prize and Aishling Reilly, from the St Paul's club, collected yet another Handball honour with the Ladies Football accolade going to Monaghan's Edele Byrne.

"The standard this year was high in every sector and selecting the winners certainly proved a difficult task," said Writers Association chairman Sean McMahon.

Inbev, Belleek Pottery, Galway Crystal, Gareth Mallon Jewellry and Nigel McBride (Country Fare, Portadown) were among the sponsors of the awards.

Footballer of the Year

Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone)

Hurler of the Year

Karl McKeegan (Antrim)

Tennent's Personality of the Year

Mickey Harte (Tyrone)

Services to GAA

Tony McCaffrey (Vocational Schools)

Young Achiever of the Year

Ryan Pickering (Tyrone)

Communications award

Deirdre Donnelly (Fermanagh)


Aishling Reilly (St Paul's)


Jane Adams (Antrim)

Ladies Football

Edele Byrne (Monaghan)


Jimmy White (Donegal)

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