Outstanding Contribution to Sport 2019 Award for Mary Geaney

Outstanding Achievement Award winner, Mary Geaney (centre) received the award from Deirdre Veldon,(left) Deputy Editor, The Irish Times and Lynne Cantwell, Chair of Women in Sport Committee at The Irish Times / Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year Award presentations in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Outstanding Achievement winner, Mary Geaney at the awards ceremony in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin with rower Sanita Puspure who was named as The Irish Times / Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year Award winner for 2019. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Mary Geaney captained her native county to All-Ireland football glory before going on to lead Cork’s camogie team to All-Ireland success, the first player to achieve such a feat.

Scored 3-2 in All-Ireland Final

She captained Kerry to football success in 1976 – she scored 3-2 in the final win over Offaly, the first hat trick in a lady’s final – before going on to win three All-Ireland camogie medals with Cork.

Geaney, who scored a hat trick in the 1978 final, captained the team in 1980 – the final against Limerick went to a replay – and won a third medal in 1983.

She also won two club football All-Ireland titles with the Castleisland district team in the early eighties.

While her GAA exploits form a huge part of the Mary Geaney story, there is much more.

Hockey for Ireland

She also played hockey for Ireland, making her international debut as goalkeeper in 1971 against England.

She went on to represent her country 65 times and was a member of the Ireland teams that won the 1977 Triple Crown and the 1983 Women’s Intercontinental Cup.

And she was inducted into the Irish Hockey Association Hall of Fame in 2010.

Mary also played squash, badminton and golf for Munster and managed her golf club, Killarney, to Irish Senior Cup success in 2017.

Hockey player and November Sportswoman of the month Roisín Upton presented Mary with her award.

Significant Year for Women

The chairman of Sport Ireland Kieran Mulvey described 2019 as a significant year for women in sport with the launch of Sport Ireland’s Women in Sport Policy and the announcement of increased multi-year investment in the area.

Among the high profilers of the 2019 monthly award winning women who joined Mary Geaney on the honours list at the ceremony in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin were: Ciara Mageean, Athletics; Rachael Blackmore, Horse Racing; Katie Taylor, Boxing and Sanita Puspure – Rowing.