World University Games Champion Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) was named as the Athlete of the Year at the GloHealth National Athletics Awards which took place on Wednesday 25th of November in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry.
Barr just edged Robert Heffernan (Togher) and Mark English (UCD) for the award with his consistency throughout the season. Heffernan won the Endurace Athlete of the Year award with his return to form finishing 5th in the 50km Race Walk at the World Athletics Championships. English also had an excellent year with a silver medal over 800m at the European Indoor Athletics Championships.
It was Barr’s top class summer winning the 400m Hurdles title at the World Universities 400m hurdles title in Gwangju, South Korea and a new Irish 400m Hurdles record of 48.65 at the Rome Diamond League that sealed the top award along with the Track and Field Athlete of the Year and the University Athlete of the Year award.
Frank O’Mara was inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2015. O’Mara was a world class middle distance runner specialising in the 1500m, 3000m and 5,000m. He became World Indoor Champion over 3000m twice, in Indianapolis in 1987 and Seville in 1991. He also made the world outdoor 5,000m final in Rome in 1987 and was also part of the quartet that set the 4×1 mile world record in Dublin in 1985 alongside Marcus O’Sullivan, Eamonn Coghlan and Ray Flynn.
While the National Athletics Awards is a celebration of the many successes of our international and national it also commemorates the association’s exceptional volunteer base. Dick Hodgins was named as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient – the pinnacle volunteer award. Hodgins got the award for his work with the Cork City Sports. John McDermott of Annalee AC won the Outstanding Official of the Year.
President of Athletics Ireland Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin said: “We had plenty to celebrate this year with standout performances by Thomas Barr, Robert Heffernan and Mark English in particular. We wish all our Irish athletes the best for Olympic year.”
He added: “The National Athletics Awards is also an excellent opportunity for the association to acknowledge the clubs and the volunteers who play a vital role in to the development of athletes and the sport in Ireland”
Athlete of the Year: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)
Hall of Fame: Frank O’Mara
Lifetime service to Athletics: Dick Hodgins (Cork City Sports)
Outstanding Official Award: John McDermott (Annalee AC)
Junior Athlete: Kevin Mulcaire (Ennis Track)
U23 Athlete: Mark English (UCD)
Endurance: Robert Heffernan (Togher)
Track & Field: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)
Inspirational Performance: Brian Murphy (Crusaders)
Performance Club: Clonliffe Harriers
Development Club: Finn Valley AC
Team of the Year: Women’s Senior Team European Cross Country Championships
Service to Coaching: John Shields (Clonliffe Harriers)
Mountain Runner: Ian Conroy (Raheny Shamrock)
Master Athlete: Mick Traynor (Raheny Shamrock)
Ultra Athlete: Eoin Keith (Sportsworld)
University Athlete: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)
Irish Schools Tailteann Awards – Girl: Phoebe Murphy (Loreto Clonmel)
Irish Schools Tailteann Award – Boy: Matthew Behan (CUS)