Antrim’s Michael Quinn, Josh Schnell, Shane McKenna, and Niall Óg McGuigan from Ruairí Óg Cushendall GAA club have been awarded the Ulster Electric Ireland GAA Minor Special Recognition Award for their brave efforts in saving the lives of a young family who had gotten into distress while swimming on the beach.
In June 2020, the four teenagers from St. Killian’s College had been enjoying a day at White Park Bay when they noticed the young family had gotten into difficulty while in the water. Thinking quickly and courageously, the boys rushed into the water and successfully prevented a certain tragedy.
These unique Electric Ireland GAA awards took into consideration the difficulties experienced in 2020 by players and communities across the country and aimed to bring a major moment back into the lives of this age group. The awards were judged by All-Ireland winning Tyrone Minor, Colm Cavanagh, former Minor Kilkenny forward, Aidan Fogarty and representatives from the GAA and Electric Ireland.
Speaking about the award winners, Edel McCarthy, Head of Sponsorship & Brand at Electric Ireland stated: “Electric Ireland is delighted to recognise these four young men with an Electric Ireland GAA Minor Special Recognition Award for their outstanding contribution to society in 2020. In what has been an extremely challenging year for all, and in particular, this age group, these young men really stood up and made an incredible impact not only on the lives of those they helped, but on society.”
Uachtarán CLG John Horan said; “’On behalf of the GAA, I would like to congratulate each of the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Special Recognition Award winners. These awards showcase that the GAA is not just about what happens on the pitch, but that the community is at the heart of everything that we do. These young men are a credit to the Association, their clubs, their families, their schools and, most of all, themselves. We are delighted to support these Electric Ireland GAA Minor Special Recognition Awards and thank Electric Ireland for their continued support for this age group.”
Former Tyrone footballer, Colm Cavanagh added: “I was very proud to be on the judging panel for these Electric Ireland GAA Minor Special Recognition Awards. All of these young men have shown incredible initiative and bravery, as well as maturity beyond their years, and they should be very proud of themselves. I am delighted that Electric Ireland and the GAA have recognised their efforts and the incredible impact which they have had on their communities in 2020. While we hope that they can get back on to the pitch soon, they have demonstrated what the GAA is truly about.”
The introduction of these four special awards further highlight Electric Ireland’s commitment to investing in and the celebration of young talent through its sponsorship of the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Championships. These awards have given Electric Ireland the opportunity to showcase the extraordinary talent that exists within this age group, and has allowed Electric Ireland to herald their fantastic achievements off the field of play, celebrating these young players at a time when this age group has missed out on so many important coming of age moments.