McIlroy and Harrington honoured


Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy and veteran Christy O’Connor were among an elite group of Irish athletes honoured in Dublin.

European Tour players, Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy, along with veteran Christy O’Connor were among an elite group of Irish athletes honoured in Dublin this week.

The Bank of Ireland Excellence in Sport Awards 2009 took place before an audience of over 500 at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin, where around €100,000 was raised for the Links Golf Society’s chosen charity, the Irish Youth Foundation for underprivileged kids.

Irish rugby union legend, Brian O’Driscoll, who captained his country to their first Six Nations Grand Slam since 1948, collected the main trophy of the evening, the ‘Superstar Award’ in recognition of a glorious year for Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who finished runner-up to Lee Westwood in the inaugural Race to Dubai last month, was named Golfer of the Year in a season which saw him move into the top ten on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Three-time Major Champion Harrington’s contribution to the Irish community via his own Foundation was recognised when he was made a Vice President of the Links Golf Society, formed in 1966 by Cecil Whelan.

O’Connor, known worldwide as ‘Himself’, also collected a special award in recognition of his recent induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Whelan, who has been the driving force behind the Links Golf Society’s charitable work over four and a half decades, said: “It was a wonderful evening and thanks to the generosity of so many people, we have managed to raise in the region of €100,000 for charity.”