BY CHRIS MCNULTY
BALLYSHANNON man Tom Daly was presented with a Services to GAA award at the Ulster GAA Writers’ Association’s annual banquet on Friday night.
Once again, the writers were back at the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran to host their annual bash
Daly’s inspired leadership while he was Ulster Council chairman and his key role in masterminding the redevelopment of Casement Park as well as his lengthy devotion to his native Donegal were just three elements that helped earn him the Services to the GAA award.
Daly is one of the top administrators to have come out of Donegal.
His vision and foresight have benefited club, county and province. Indeed, he was a GAA Presidential candidtate until he withdrew in advance of Liam O’Neill taking up the office.
Daly is the Casement Park Project Board Chairman and has led the way in the redevelopment project of the Belfast venue, which will be a 38,000 all-seater venue by the end of 2015. Daly has led the way through his negotiations and strong leadership skills, which have seen him take some of the highest officies in the Association.
He is a former President of the Ulster Council and was last year nominated as a trustee of the Association.
Daly, a former Donegal vice-chairman, was in the race for the Presidency for a period and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he could enter the fray again.
He became only the fourth Donegal man ever to be elected president of the GAA’s Ulster Council. He has served on the Ulster Council for over 20 years.
Tom’s involvement with the GAA at national level includes a period as secretary of the GAA’s National Insurance Work Group, a member of the National Referees’ Administration Committee, a member of the GAA’s Commercial and Marketing Committee and recently a two year stint as vice-chairman of the National Games Administration Committee (GAC).
A son of former Donegal County Secretary Hugh Daly, Tom has also given a lot of devotion to his club, Aodh Ruadh, and Donegal.
He served two terms as chairman of the club and was also instrumental in the redevelopment of Muday’s Field in Ballyshannon.
At county board level he served as a member of the County Executive/Management Committee for 16 years and also as County Youth Officer in 1985 and 1986 and as County Vice Chairman from 1990 to 1992.
At Friday’s banquet, Sean Cavanagh collected the coveted Footballer of the Year award. The Moy man picked up the accolade after another fine year in the Tyrone shirt that saw a fifth All-Star award head his way.
Monaghan’s Darren Hughes was named Personality of the Year, Down’s Paul Braniff collected the Hurler of the Year award, Catriona McConnell (Monaghan) was honoured as Female Footballer of the Year and Derry’s Grainne McGoldrick took the camogie award.
Paul Brady (Cavan) and Aisling Reilly (Antrim) took the handball prizes and Jackson McGreevy, Antrim, was winner of the Young Achiever award while Cavan PRO Declan Woods won the Communications Award.
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