Donegal and Glen Swilly footballer Michael Murphy was presented with the inaugural Séamus Mac Géidigh Memorial Award, Gradam Shéamuis Mhic Géidigh, for club player of the Championship at the Annual Donegal GAA County Banquet and Award Night on Saturday.
The award was presented by Dolores Mhic Géidigh, Séamus’s wife, at the event in the Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town.
The award was established by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta in memory and honour of their friend and colleague Séamus Mac Géidigh, a multi-talented broadcaster best known as the voice of Donegal GAA commentary for many years, and Regional Manager of the service in the northwest, who passed away suddenly in July.
The judges said: “Michael Murphy was chosen for the inaugural Séamus Mac Géidigh award because he showed unfailing leadership from the start of the Championship, and was instrumental in guiding Glen Swilly to the final and ultimately winning the Championship. He returned from a bad injury earlier this year, and we really felt that his presence made the essential difference to Glen Swilly’s performance in 2016.”
The selection committee for the award was made up of 12 Donegal sports journalists, from both print and broadcast media, under the stewardship of Damien Ó Dónaill from RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
Edel Ní Chuireáin, Head of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, said: “This event is tinged with sadness for us, because Séamus was such an important and beloved part of the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta team. But tonight, I feel we have honoured his memory, and recognised his passion for all things Donegal, particularly the GAA, which had such a special place in his heart. Congratulations to Michael Murphy, a very worthy recipient of the inaugural Gradam Shéamuis Mhic Géidigh, even more so as himself and Séamus were friends.”
Sculptor Redmond Herrity from Letterkenny created Gradam Shéamuis Mhic Géidigh, inspired by Mount Errigal, a mountain that dominates the landscape of the northwest of the county. Séamus was passionate in his commitment to his homeplace of Donegal, and because of that Redmond chose to make the award from Donegal Granite, and received special permission to take a stone from Errigal for it. It is carved in the shape of the mountain, with toughened glass mounted to the front featuring an engraving of Séamus. A brass plate at the back will carry the name of the winners of the award.
Photo: The Mac Géidigh family with Michael Murphy – Dolores, Póilín, Éadaoin and Dónal