The Manager of the Tipperary Minor Football All-Ireland winning team, was officially honoured at a function in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin on Saturday night last.
David Power received the Tipperary Association Dublin’s annual Person of the Year Award while another Tipperary “great”, Mr. Liam Aherne of the Palace Bar on Fleet Street, Dublin was inducted into the Association’s Hall of Fame.
The Tipperary Association Dublin’s President, Mr. Liam Myles stated that it was a privilege and an honour to award the Tipperary Person of the Year to David Power, the manager of the Tipperary Minor Football All-Ireland winning team in 2011.
A member of the Kilsheelan-Kilcash club, Mr. Power was currently Vice-Chairman, and started out training the under 16 and other underage teams in the club.
“Around 2007 he became involved with the county under 15 football development squad. In 2009 he was asked by the then Football Board Chairman, Noel Morris, to take over the minor football team and he has managed the minor teams since. He also took over the county under 16 teams. Under his charge, Tipperary under 16s won the county’s first ever Munster title in 2010 at this level beating Cork in the final. He also managed the under 17 teams in 2010 and 2011”.
Mr. Myles said with this involvement with young players coming through the various under age competitions, Mr. Power was in a unique position to work with the players and the County Board and officials to achieve success with the minor county team. No doubt, he said, his strong relationship and bond with the players over the previous years was central to the success achieved last year. He had obviously earned the respect of the panel of players and it showed throughout the season.
“David is also involved with Waterford Institute of Technology football teams, where he has made progress leading the WIT team to the Trench Cup final last year. David Power’s success in 2011 has already been recognised with the award of Manager of the Year by the Munster GAA Council and the Annerville Executive Sports Award for Tipperary”.
Mr. Myles said key to the success of the minors in 2011 was the support David had from the whole management and support team, both County Boards and the financial and moral support from the Friends of Tipperary Football. “The victory of 2011, like all victories was earned through hard work, dedication and commitment by all involved – and the contribution of the parents of panel members should be recognised in this context. The Association salutes you all”.
“A minor team that beats Cork, Limerick and Kerry in Munster, Meath and Roscommon on the way to a final win over with Dublin will surely go down in history as worthy winners of the Markham Cup”.
He stated that the winning of the All-Ireland Minor Championship in 2011 by the county’s minor footballers and the style of the win had been very special to all of them. “It gave us a reason to celebrate what is best about our beloved county – characteristics such as dedication, commitment, skill, pride in the jersey and sportsmanship. The victory lifted the spirits of all Tipperary people last September”.
“David, you did your family, Kilsheelan-Kilcash, Tipperary and all of us proud in 2011. I congratulate you wholeheartedly as a well deserved winner of the Association’s Tipperary Person of the Year Award for 2011”, he said.
The Person of the Year Award was sponsored by Michael Fenton, who made the presentation.
In response Mr. Power stated that he stood before the attendance as a very proud Tipperary person, knowing that had he not had the help of so many people he would not be there. He thanked all the sponsors of the event and the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel. He also expressed his gratitude to all of those involved in the All-Ireland win and singled out for special mention the late James Houlihan, a great club man and great help to him, and his family, especially his father.
“Tipperary football is on the rise. We might be in Division 4 for 2013 but we will be out swiftly. What I saw last night alone in training was up to 90 young lads who want to play football for Tipperary. The future is very bright”, he said.
The Hall of Fame Award went to Mr. Liam Aherne of the famous Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin.
The citation was delivered by the Association’s past president, Jarlath Daly, who stated that he took over the Palace Bar in the 1940s and the place has been a “home from home” for many Tipperary people since. “Bill Aherne (Liam’s late father) saw to it that anyone from the county was made welcome and offered support when ever needed. His son Liam and family have carried on that proud tradition”.
In addition, he said, they had developed a business where all were made welcome and those with a love of sports were catered for in everyway with a host of sports personalities, artists, literary and many other cultural personalities numbering among their clientele. The business exuded a convivial atmosphere where one could spend some quiet and pleasurable time.
“Among the many famous VIP visitors to the Palace Bar over the years, none was made more welcome than “Liam McCarthy”!! Since Bill Aherne took over the Palace, the All-Ireland trophy has visited the Palace Bar and thankfully following recent successes by Tipperary senior hurlers the traditional post match visit carries on. Great days to be alive and in the Palace Bar!”
“The Tipperary Association Dublin has very strong historical links with the Palace Bar and the Aherne family. Members regard the Palace as their headquarters and a natural home for “Tipps” in Dublin”.
Mr. Daly said Liam’s generosity and support of the Association knew no bounds. He had provided the Association with meeting facilities upstairs in the Palace for many decades and hosted many functions, where beverage and food had been provided - often appearing miraculously and with no fuss - in the style of the man!
“A true gentleman, Liam Aherne - and by extension the Aherne family - has given huge support and backing to the Tipperary Association Dublin for many years now and is well deserving of being inducted into the Association’s Hall of Fame”, he said.
The Award was presented by Mr. Louis Fitzgerald.
Mr. Aherne stated that he was very honoured and surprised to receive the award. He was delighted to offer the Committee what support he could and was also delighted that his son Willie was running the family business, bringing the Aherne family into its seventh decade.
The attendance included His Grace, Most Rev. Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, who performed a blessing prior to the dinner.
Pictured above right - David Power receives the Tipperary Person of the Year Award from Michael Fenton.