ON SATURDAY night more than 400 people attended the annual Rebel Óg awards banquet at the Clayton Hotel Silver Springs.
The awards are sponsored by the hotel, along with Cummins Sports, RedFM and The Echo.
It is held to acknowledge the monthly winners, 16 last year, and an opportunity to showcase all that is good about underage GAA affairs in Cork.
The 16 winners came about because in June there were five winners, with Cork enjoying significant success at the Feile camogie and hurling All-Ireland competitions held in Cork and Kerry.
Winners that month included Bandon and Killeagh/Ita’s hurlers and camogie sides from Clonakilty, Eire Og and Ballyhea/Milford with a number of winners in shield competitions as well.
Other monthly winners included All-Ireland winning ladies football sides (U14 and minor), minor camogie side and Patrician Academy.
Add in Dr Harty Cup winners and the Cork minor footballers, also All-Ireland winners, and you get some idea of the calibre of winners last year.
Ahead of Saturday night the independent judging panel had the extremely difficult task of picking an overall winner from this lot.
After a long discussion, they picked the Cork minor footballers, who won the All-Ireland title for the first time in 19 years. The manner in which they won was one of the factors the judges took into consideration.
Deep into injury-time Cork fell behind to a Galway goal and had just 70 seconds to try and equalise to take it to extra-time.
The quick thinking of keeper, Cian O’Leary, to get the ball back in play was key and his re-start, after one more pass, ended up in the hands of captain Conor Corbett, who found the back of the net to take it to extra-time.
In that Cork dominated to see the cup head to Leeside in what turned out to be a great year for manager, Bobbie O’Dwyer, his fellow selectors and squad, after not the greatest of starts.
Also honoured was Eddie Moloney who received the Hall of Fame award. Eddie has been involved with Rebel Og in the west for many years and has served in a number of offices at club and regional level.
He has also been involved in Sciath na Scol and many other aspects of GAA and is still actively involved at present. This was the last function for a number of Rebel Og officers who were all thanked for their service over many years.