BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THE Ulster GAA Writers Association (UGAAWA) celebrates its 25th anniversary tonight when the Jubille Banquet is held at the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran, the organisation’s spiritual home.
There promises to be a real Donegal feel to the occasion as the Anglo-Celt and the Sam Maguire cups, won by Tir Chonaill in 2012, will be in attendance.
Donegal is expected to be to the fore with the personal awards which will be presented by members of the UGAAWA. Karl Lacey, Colm McFadden and Frank McGlynn are in the running for the coveted UGAAWA Player of the Year award. Lacey took the award last year and the trio are the same as the short-list for the GAA/GPA Player of the Year award from this year.
Donegal ace Patrick McBrearty is in line for his second Young Achiever of the Year award, while the Personality Award is expected to go to one of Jim McGuinness, the Donegal manager, or Michael Murphy, the Donegal captain.
Also tonight, the GAAWA officially announce their Jubilee football and hurling teams of the last 25 years – selections that will rage debate across the province of Ulster.
Six Donegal men have been nominated for places on the Jubilee Football Team.
The players must have won either a monthly or annual award from the UGAAWA to be selected. Close on 150 players have won awards since the inception of the UGAAWA in 1988 and from those, 51 players have been nominated for places on the football team, including the Donegal six.
Current All-Stars Karl Lacey, the 2012 Footballer of the Year, and Michael Murphy have been short-listed, as have 1992 All-Ireland winners Martin McHugh, Anthony Molloy, Matt Gallagher and Tony Boyle.
Special jubilee presentations will be made to honour the world of camogie, ladies football and handball, as well as to the UGAAWA annual award winners, which will pay tribute to the best across all codes in 2012.
The night will also be tinged with a sad tone for members of the UGAAWA, who have recently bid farewell to two long-serving members, Matt Fitzpatrick the assistant treasurer who passed away in October, and Jerry Quinn, the vice chairman, who passed to his Eternal Rest earlier this week.