St. Mary's GAC, Ahoghill has won the title of 'AIB Club Of The Year 2003' for Antrim.
Congratulations to all involved with the club and especially to all those who helped in any way to bring this award to the club over the last year.
The club will now go forward to an awards ceremony in Dublin in early February where the Provincial winners and overall All-Ireland winner will be chosen.
Official GAA Press Release Follows;
32 GAA Clubs around the country have been given an early New Year’s bonus today, with the announcement of the AIB GAA Club of the Year Awards for 2003. As part of their award, each club will receive a development grant of €2,000, and will also go forward to represent their county in the Provincial and All Ireland AIB Club of the Year competition, the winners of which will be announced at the awards ceremony in Croke Park on Monday 2nd February.
Each of the Provincial winners will receive a further grant of €5,000, with the ultimate AIB GAA Club of the Year receiving an additional €10,000, bringing the total prize fund for the top award to €17,000.
In addition to the prize fund, every club that entered the competition was entered into a draw. The winner of the small club category was Cumann Peile na bPiarsaigh, Co naGaillimhe and the winner of the large club category was Holy-Cross Ballycahill GAA Club, Co Tipperary. Both clubs received vouchers towards club gear worth €3,000 each.
Speaking about the Awards, Donal Forde, Managing Director AIB said, “AIB are delighted to have initiated these Club of the Year awards, and thereby acknowledge the importance of the club within the GAA structure, and the contribution that clubs make to their local community”
This is the fourth year of the awards scheme, and the number of entries from clubs has more than trebled since 2000, while AIB have also trebled their investment in the scheme, with the prize fund alone coming to over €100,000. Previous winners of the overall AIB Club of the Year Award are Séan Dolan’s CLG (2000), Éire Óg Carlow (2001) and St. Malachy’s Castlewellan (2002).
President of the GAA, Mr. Sean Kelly, said that he was delighted to be once again associated with AIB in such a worthwhile venture. "The club is without doubt the most important unit of the Association” he said. "The current strength of the Association comes from the tremendous work that takes place year in year out at grassroots level. The players who will grace Croke Park throughout the summer all began at club level and it is a testament to the strength and purpose of our clubs that they continue to provide playing, social and coaching facilities that are the envy of so many other organisations."
He also paid tribute to AIB's continued commitment to the Club of the Year Awards scheme and said that winning an award, whether at county, provincial or All Ireland level was a fitting recognition of a club's contribution to the overall well being of the Association.
Details of county winners attached.
AIB GAA Club of the Year 2003 – County Winners
Galway Portumna GAA Club
Leitrim St.Mary's GAA Club
Mayo Crossmolina Deel Rovers
Roscommon Ail Finn
Sligo Eastern Harps GAA
Carlow Tinryland GAA
Dublin St. Judes
Kildare Confey GAA
Kilkenny Piltown G.A.A. Club
Laois An Fraoch
Longford Clonguish GFC
Louth Mattock Rangers GFC
Meath Simonstown Gaels
Offaly Shamrocks GAA Club
Westmeath Tyrrellspass GAA
Wexford St. Martins G.A.A. Club
Wicklow Rathnew G.A.A.
Clare Wolfe Tones na Sionna
Cork Baile Nua Seandroma
Kerry An Ghaeltacht
Limerick Cumann Tobar Phadraig
Tipperary Fanaithe na Maoilig
Waterford Ballygunner GAA Club
Antrim St.Mary's Ahoghill
Armagh Crossmaglen Rangers GFC
Cavan Butlersbridge Emmets
Derry Watty Grahams
Donegal Malin GAA Club
Down Caislean a Mhuilinn CLG
Fermanagh Lisnaskea Emmetts GAC
Monaghan Latton O'Rahilly's
Tyrone An Srath Bán
Winners of the voucher for €3,000 worth of GAA gear - Cumann Peile na bPiarsaigh, Co naGaillimhe
Holy-Cross Ballycahill GAA Club, Co Tipperary