James McCarthy and Conor Cooney win Pearse Medals 2017

December 14, 2017

Leinster Chairman Jim Bolger presents the Pearse Medal for Leinster Hurler of the Year 2017 to Galway's Conor Cooney

Dublin football powerhouse James McCarthy and prolific Galway hurling forward Conor Cooney have been announced as the Pearse Medal winners by Leinster GAA in 2017.

The specially commissioned Pearse Medal was introduced last year to coincide with the anniversary of the Easter Rising and acknowledge the fact that Pearse had been a member of the Leinster Council through its schools section in the years before his death.

The medal acknowledges the outstanding footballer and hurler in our senior championships. The inaugural winners last year were Diarmuid Connolly of Dublin and Kilkenny's JonJo Farrell.

This year the adjudicators have selected Ballymun Kickhams flier James McCarthy for the role he played in driving Dublin to a historic seven Leinster senior football titles in a row.

Renowned for his pace, drive and versatility, McCarthy's switch to the midfield engine room helped Jim Gavin's Dublin maintain their edge on their rivals in a season that saw them blitz Carlow, Westmeath and Kildare to retain the Delaney Cup and stay unbeaten in Leinster since 2010.

Conor Cooney's displays in the Galway attack were of crucial importance in what was an unforgettable year for the Tribesmen.

In Leinster, Galway started strongly in their dismantling of Dublin and progressed to dismiss Offaly and then devastate Wexford's hopes in a Leinster final played before a record crowd of more than 60,000 at Croke Park.

Cooney was central to their best work and proved they were not overly reliant on Joe Canning.

The medals were presented at a lunch in Croke Park today attended by Conor, and with David McCarthy, brother of James, accepting the medals from Leinster GAA Chairman Jim Bolger.

Jim Bolger said: "The Pearse Medal is something different and recognises great players who themselves were something different. This specially commissioned medal acknowledges the best of the best and we have two very worthy winners in James and Conor after the roles they played in what were special summers for Dublin and Galway in Leinster and indeed beyond."

Other Leinster GAA awards announced today were

Best County Final Programme: Bob Doheny, Louth PRO

Best Club Website: Mary Foley Buffers Alley, Wexford

Best County PRO: Christine Murray, Kildare GAA

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