Jackie honoured for service to hurling
WICKLOW'S JACKIE Napier was honoured on Monday with an AIB award for a lifetime of service to the game of hurling.
It is an honour that was richly deserved as the Bray clubman has been Mr. Hurling in Wicklow for over a half century.
He received his coaching and development award from GAA President Christy Cooney at a function in the RDS which saw a number of top hurlers and footballers from the provinces also honoured for their accomplishments.
Jackie Napier has made a unique and unsurpassed contribution to the promotion and development of hurling within Wicklow at Club, County, Provincial and Central Level.
He has served his club - Bray Emmets - with distinction and has, over the years, filled the following pivotal positions within the club: Juvenile Secretary, Secretary, Vice Chairman and Chairman, and he is currently Club President.
His ongoing commitment to Wicklow hurling is reflected in the fact that he has been the chief driving force behind county teams at all levels. This is reflected in the fact that he has not missed a Wicklow Senior hurling game in over 50 years and has been actively involved with all hurling teams from the county which have experienced Leinster or All-Ireland success since 1966.
Wicklow's Senior 'B' All-Ireland success in 2003 stands out as a pinnacle achievement at Adult Level. The special Minor successes in 1967 and 1974 are also notable achievements.
Jackie is currently Wicklow's representative on Central Council, having previously served on Leinster Council for 12 years and as County PRO for 11 years. During the time the County Hurling Board was in situ, Jackie served in the positions of Chairman, vice-chairman and secretary.
Present to see him get his deserved award were his wife Josie; daughter Mary; sister-in-law Phyllis Barry; coun- ty chairman Mick Hagan; and Fr. Liam Dunne, Arklow, who is vice-President of the County Committee.
Coaching and development award winner for football was Philip Kerr from O'Donovan Rossa Club, Magherafelt.
He has been instrumental in setting up innovative structures within his club; he has operated an open door policy for many years and this best practice has been repeated across the Province.
Award winners in football include Brian Kavanagh, Kilmacud Crokes, who will be lining out for Longford on Sunday against Wicklow.
Other winners were Frankie Dolan, St. Bridget's Roscommon, and Oisin McConville, Crossmaglen Rangers, teams that face up in the All-Ireland club final on St. Patrick's Day; and David Niblock from Nemo Rangers, Cork.
Hurling winners were Mark Bergin, O'Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny; Kevin Moran, De La Salle, Waterford; and Liam Watson, Loughgiel, Antrim.
Jackie Napier, centre, Coaching and Development Award winner for hurling, with AIB General Manager Billy Finn and GAA President Chrisy Cooney at the AIB Provincial Player Awards 2010.