Champion of Galway women’s sports now taking his passion to the Banner

Former Galway Bay FM sports reporter Darren Kelly, who has been named 2018 LGFA Journalist of the Year.
Former Galway Bay FM sports reporter Darren Kelly, who has been named 2018 LGFA Journalist of the Year.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

Darren Kelly requires little introduction. A champion of women’s sports in Galway over the past decade, particularly camogie and ladies’ football, the former Galway Bay FM commentator gave voice to the hopes and ambitions of a generation of female athletes.

This was duly recognised recently when the Ballinasloe native was named as LGFA ‘Journalist of the Year’ and he will be presented with his accolade at a special function at Croke Park on Friday, February 22. Glenamaddy teacher John Kennedy will receive the ‘Schools Coach of the Year’ at the same event.

“It was a pleasant surprise,” says Kelly, who is also to be feted at a Connacht LGFA function in Claremorris on February 9. “We are really looking forward to going up to Croke Park on the 22nd. My mother (Josephine) is really excited and so is Sinead (Killeen), my girlfriend, and the rest of my family (brothers Paul, Rory and James) and close friends.”

In truth, no one deserves it more than Kelly. One of the most likeable sports journalists on the circuit, he, more than anyone, has raised the profile of camogie and ladies’ football in the county. His interest, unlimited. His enthusiasm, infectious. His passion, unbridled.

“I will never forget in May 2008 talking with Ollie Turner (Galway Bay FM Sports Editor) and he said ‘I am going to make you Galway Bay FM’s new ladies’ man’,” laughs Kelly. “I suppose, he wanted to give me some sort of focus as regards me working for them.”

Within weeks, Kelly did his first live commentary of a Galway senior camogie match against Limerick. “I was very, very nervous,” he recalls. “Sharon (Glynn, analyst) was as well. However, didn’t Orla Kilkenny and Jessica Gill bang in two goals in the first few minutes and the game was a runaway victory for Galway after that.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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