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Loughnane, Spillane, Fenton and McGrath all honoured for their GAA exploits last night

The inter-county stars were honoured by Ireland’s leading GAA journalists.

Ger Loughnane Clare hurling great Ger Loughnane Source: James Crombie/INPHO

CLARE HURLING LEGEND Ger Loughnane, Kerry football great Pat Spillane, Dublin’s All-Ireland winning midfielder Brian Fenton and Waterford hurling manager Derek McGrath were all honoured for their GAA exploits last night.

The quartet were recognised at the annual awards ceremony by the Gaelic Writers’ Association in Dublin.

Loughnane and Spillane are the latest additions to the GWA Hall of Fame while Fenton was selected as the 2016 Football Personality of the Year with McGrath winning the hurling accolade.

Loughnane was part of a Clare team that won two National Hurling League medals in 1977 and 1978 while his brilliant displays for the Banner were recognised with two All-Star awards.

As a manager he enjoyed incredible success in leading his native Clare to two All-Ireland titles in 1995 and 1997 along with three Munster senior titles. The Feakle man also managed Galway.

Spillane was one of the stars of a great Kerry team with his collection of nine All-Stars a record for a Gaelic footballer. He also claimed eight All-Ireland senior medals and 12 Munster titles.

Fenton enjoyed an outstanding season at midfield for the All-Ireland champions Dublin as he helped them retain the Sam Maguire. He was also central to their National League and Leinster senior triumphs.

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McGrath’s Waterford team contested the finals of the National hurling league and Munster championship while also playing out two thrilling games with Kilkenny at the All-Ireland semi-final stage.

Loughnane, Spillane, Fenton and McGrath all honoured for their GAA exploits last night
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  • Derek McGrath (Waterford)

    Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO
  • Ger Loughnane (Clare)

    Source: Tom Honan/INPHO
  • Pat Spillane (Kerry)

    Source: James Meehan/INPHO
  • Eugene McGee (Longford)

    Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO
  • Brian Fenton (Dublin)

    Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

This year’s GWA Lifetime Achievement award went to Eugene McGee, a major figure on the Irish media landscape for many decades now, not only because of his columns in The Sunday Tribune, The Evening Herald and The Irish Independent, but also for his ownership of the Longford Leader newspaper.

He also famously steered Offaly to the 1982 All-Ireland senior football title and was more recently the chairman of the Football Review Committee.

Eugene McGee Eugene McGee Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The 2016 PRO of the Year is Mayo’s Paul Cunnane. This was Paul’s first year as Mayo PRO and during a demanding season the Davitts clubman excelled in the role.

Gaelic Writers Association Awards 2016

  • Football Personality of the Year: Brian Fenton (Dublin)
  • Hurling Personality of the Year: Derek McGrath (Waterford)
  • Hall of Fame: Ger Loughnane and Pat Spillane
  • GWA Lifetime Achievement Award: Eugene McGee
  • PRO of the Year: Paul Cunnane (Mayo)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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