The European bronze medalist picks up the top honour, while Sarah Healy is also among the winners.

Thomas Barr was named as the Athlete of the Year at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards in Blanchardstown on Thursday (November 29).

Barr got the top honour with his superb bronze medal in the 400m hurdles at the European Championships in Berlin over the summer.

The Ferrybank athlete also collected the Track and Field Athlete of the Year award holding off Phil Healy, who was named inspirational performance for her 100m and 200m record exploits, and European finalists Leon Reid and Ciara Mageean.

Sommer Lecky was named Junior Athlete of Year after her high jump silver medal winning performance – and an Irish U20 record – at the IAAF World U20 Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland.

The relay squad of Molly Scott Gina Akpe-Moses, Ciara Neville and Patience Jumbo-Gula and Rhasidat Adeleke, who also won silver in Tampere, were named the team of the year.

Mary Purcell was inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2018. She was the dominant figure in women’s athletics in Ireland throughout the 1970s.

While the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards is a celebration of the many successes of our international and national it also commemorates the association’s exceptional volunteer base. Paddy Marley was named as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient – the pinnacle volunteer award while Sean Callan won the Outstanding Official of the Year.

Both stalwarts of Clonliffe Harriers, they are very popular people on the athletics scene. Frank Greally, editor of the Irish Runner magazine for over 30 years was a very worthy recipient of a Special Recognition Award.

“The awards not only allow us to celebrate the great performances of our athletes over the course of the year, but it also gives Athletics Ireland the opportunity to formally acknowledge our coaches, officials and clubs for their enormous contribution to the success of our sport,” said CEO of Athletics Ireland, Hamish Adams.

“We wish all our athletes success at the forthcoming European Cross Country Championships, and we look forward to ensuring that we too deliver a world class experience for both athletes and spectators when we play host to the event in 2020.”

Irish Athletics Awards winners

Hall of Fame: Mary Purcell
Lifetime Services to Athletics: Paddy Marley
Athlete of the Year: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)
Endurance Athlete of the Year: Alex Wright (Leevale)
U20 Athlete of the Year: Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley)
U23 Athlete of the Year: Matthew Behan (Crusaders)

Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)
Performance Club of the Year: Clonliffe Harriers
Services to Coaching: Eamon Harvey
Official of the Year: Sean Callan
Team of the Year: Women’s U20 4x100m Relay Team
Inspirational Performance of the Year on Irish Soil: Phil Healy

Development Club of the Year: West Waterford A.C.
Mountain Runner of the Year: Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers)
Master Athlete of the Year: Joe Gough (West Waterford)
Ultra-Athlete of the Year: Aidan Hogan (Rising Sun)
Schools Athlete of the Year: Sarah Healy (Holy Child Killiney/Blackrock), Aaron Sexton (Bangor Grammar/North Down)
University Athlete of the Year: Elizabeth Morland (DCU/Cushinstown)
Special Recognition Award: Frank Greally

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