Supporting Local News

Ballinasloe woman honoured for decades of dedication to sport

A half-century of dedication to the promotion of community sports has resulted in a Ballinasloe woman earning a prestigious national award for her achievements.

And throughout that time, Carmel Greally from Brackernagh, Ballinasloe was the inspiration for several athletes to achieve national recognition.

Carmel was the outright winner of the Her Sports Community Award 2024 at a ceremony in Dublin last weekend.

It was an event in which Irish women’s soccer international Katie McCabe picked up the Athlete of the Year award and the Ireland Women Rugby 7s were crowned Team of the Year in recognition of the historic Olympic qualification.

Significantly, three of the players on the women rugby 7s squad started their journey playing U11 mixed rugby through Ballinasloe Community Games of which Carmel remains an integral part.

These are Beibhinn Parsons, Aoibheann Reilly and Maebh Deely while several others have come through Ballinasloe Community Games to represent their province in various disciplines.

According to the citation, the achievements of these athletes is a testament to Carmel’s enduring contribution and impact on sport.

Carmel became involved with Ballinasloe Community Games in 1973 and she has been a stalwart of the organisation ever since.

She has held many prominent roles at both county and national level over the course of her 50-year association with this voluntary sporting organisation and continues her commitment to developing young talent.

According to Cllr Evelyn Parsons, who nominated Carmel for the award, thousands of local children have been given the opportunity to compete in a wide variety of events down through the years.

The independent councillor said her name is synonymous with community games in Ballinasloe and further afield where many household names were introduced to their first opportunity to compete.

“She exemplifies the criteria of someone who could be referred to as a behind-the-scenes hero, with the award itself allowing for an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary and the phenomenal work volunteers do around the country,” she said.

“Carmel is a gift to our community and she never looks for individual credit for her own work. This is why I was determined to nominate her as most worthy for this award.

“Her influence extends far beyond her community, serving as a shining example of how one individual can make a lasting meaningful impact on the lives and future of several generations.

“This public acknowledgement of her vast contribution is so fitting,” added Cllr Parsons.

The public representative accompanied Carmel with her daughter Miriam Murphy and granddaughter Maeve Keegan at the awards ceremony in UCD.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up