November 30, 2017

World Gold medallists Mona McSharry and Shane Ryan were named Performance Athletes of the Year at the Swim Ireland Annual Awards in Ballina, Mayo tonight.  Both McSharry and Ryan claimed gold on the world stage this past Summer making the two deserving winners of the accolade.  

McSharry won Ireland’s first ever gold medal at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Indianapolis in August, the Ballyshannon Marlins swimmer also collected bronze at the event as well as two gold and a silver at the European Junior Championships in July.  

Ryan won Ireland’s first gold medal in 26 years at the World University Games in August when he topped the podium in the the 50m Backstroke Final in Irish record time. The 23-year-old also made the semi-final in the 100m Backstroke at the World Championships in Budapest in July.  

Also honoured for his performances this Summer Conor Ferguson picked up the Performance Pathway Swimmer of the Year Award. Ferguson won European and World Junior silvers during the Summer, making history with Ireland’s first ever medal at the latter. 14-year-old Anna Power of Shamrock Diving Club was named Performance Pathway Diver of the Year while rising star Nicole Turner of NAC Swimming Club won the Para Swimmer of the Year Award.  

McSharry’s coach at Marlins Swimming Club, Grace Meade collected the Performance Coach of the Year Award while Martin McGann, coach of double silver medallist at the Commonwealth Youth Games Rachel Bethel, was awarded the Performance Pathway Coach of the Year. Emmet Crowley and Anne Mulcair of Limerick Swimming Club collected the Team Coach of the Year prize for their club results at the Irish Age Group Championships in July.  

Masters swimmer Dymphna Morris won the Masters Outstanding Achievement Award for her fantastic results at the World Masters Championships in August, Carol Cashell was honoured with the Open Water Swimmer of the Year after completing the “Triple Crown” which included the English Channel swim in 2017 while Leinster Open Sea Committee member Brian Nolan was awarded with the National Volunteer of the Year Award and Joe Moran of Castlebar the Club Volunteer Award.  

Outgoing Swim Ireland President Mary Dunne selected both Fr Dermot Moloney and Peter Brennan for her President’s Award, the duo have given many years of service to Connacht Swimming and were recognised for their tireless work.  

The last awards of the evening saw two inductions into the Swim Ireland Hall of Fame, the 2017 inductees were Mr Eddie Campion and Mr Davy Page (RIP).  

A total of 22 Awards which celebrate and honour the fantastic work and outstanding accomplishments of Swim Ireland’s athletes, coaches and volunteers were handed out on the night. International athletes were also honoured; they represented Ireland at European and World Swimming and Diving events and Ireland’s Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic athletes were recognised for their achievements.  

Ten clubs were also awarded their Swim Ireland Clubmark certificates.  

The night was finished off with the handover of the Swim Ireland Presidency as outgoing President and host for the night Mary Dunne of Ballina Dolphins SC handed over the reins to Munster representative Maggie Purcell.  

Speaking after the event, Swim Ireland’s CEO Sarah Keane commented: “We are delighted each year to be able get the aquatic community together to celebrate the fantastic achievements of our athletes and coaches and to recognise our volunteers for the hard work that they do. The night gives us the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work that everyone puts into our sport and indeed recognise the positive impact that so many of the leaders of our sport have year in year out on the lives of Irish people young and old, male and female inside the pool and out”.

Award Winners

Male Performance Athlete of the Year

Shane Ryan

Female Performance Athlete of the Year

Mona McSharry

Para Swimmer of the Year

Nicole Turner

Performance Pathway Diver of the Year

Anna Power

Performance Pathway Swimmer of the Year

Conor Ferguson

Performance Coach of the Year

Grace Meade

Performance Pathway Coach of the Year

Martin McGann

Team Coach of the Year

Emmet Crowley & Anne Mulcair

Club Volunteer of the Year

Joe Moran

National Volunteer of the Year

Brian Nolan

Open Water Swimmer of the Year

Carol Cashell

Masters Outstanding Achievement Award

Dymphna Morris

Connacht Club of the Year

Shark SC

Leinster Club of the Year

Viking SC

Munster Club of the Year

Dolphin SC

Ulster Club of the Year

Bangor SC

Club of the Year

Bangor SC

Presidents Award

Fr Dermot Moloney & Peter Brennan

Hall of Fame

Eddie Campion & Davy Page