Odhrán Mac Niallais has been announced as the Gradam Shéamuis Mhic Géidigh winner – the award for the player of the 2018 Donegal SFC.
Mac Niallais started as Gaoth Dobhair won their 15th Donegal crown – their first since 2006.
In the final win over Naomh Conaill, Mac Niallais kicked eight points.
Mac Niallais led the way for Gaoth Dobhair through the group stage. Drawn in the ‘group of death’, the Magheragallon men came through Naomh Conaill, Dungloe and St Eunan’s.
After accounting for Bundoran and Sean MacCumhaills, Gaoth Dobhair defeated Naomh Conaill in the final to get their hands back on Dr Maguire again.
Mac Niallais had taken a year out of county football in 2017 and just returned for the SFC semi-final when Gaoth Dobhair were edged out by Naomh Conaill.
Mac Niallais was back in Donegal’s colours this year to win the Ulster Championship.
Gradam Shéamuis Mhic Géidigh is named in honour of the late RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta presenter and commentator who passed away in 2016.
The award is voted on by members of the Donegal media who covered the club championship.
12 Donegal sports journalists made up the selection committee for the award, under the stewardship of Damien Ó Dónaill from RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
Speaking this morning on Barrscéalta, Ó Dónaill said: “Odhrán is highly deserving of this award for the skills he displayed in this year’s County Championship, helping Gaoth Dobhair to their first championship victory in 12 years.
“There were 3 other Gaoth Dobhair players in consideration for the award, but the majority of the committee chose Odhrán. They all mentioned his excellent display in this year’s county final, when he scored 8 points.
“He has shown that he is amongst the top players in the country, with an elegant style of football, not to mention his scoring precision and his ability at centre-field.”
The Gradam Shéamuis Mhic Géidigh award was inaugurated in 2016 to commemorate the much-loved and respected RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta broadcaster Séamus Mac Géidigh, best known for his excellent GAA commentary, who passed away suddenly in 2016.
RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Regional Manager in Donegal, Edel Ní Chuireáin, said: “Séamus Mac Géidigh was a proud Gaeltacht man, just like this year’s award recipient, which is fitting, and I would like to congratulate Odhrán on his award.”
Odhrán Mac Niallais said this morning on Barrscéalta: “It’s a great privilege for me to receive this award. Séamus was a gentleman, and a good friend of mine, so it’s really special to be the recipient of this award named in his honour.”
He will be presented with the award at the annual Donegal GAA County Banquet and Award night on Friday 23 November in the Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town.
The award was created by sculptor Redmond Herrity using Donegal Granite carved in the shape of Errigal, with an engraving of an image of Séamus to the front.