Annual Awards Night 2019 Awards Night 2019More than 250 people gathered in Dublin's Conrad Hotel on Saturday night to celebrate the biggest moments of the triathlon year and the people that made 2019 special.Age Group medalists from all of this year's national championship competitions picked up their awards in a special medalists reception before the dinner, while later in the evening, clubs, races and individuals nominated for prestigious individual awards were honoured on the main stage in evening hosted by Joanne Murphy of TriTalking Sport.The winners of every single medal this season are listed in the 2019 Awards Night Booklet.Keep reading below to find out who won the special category awards.Athlete of the YearCarolyn Hayes won athlete of the year for a superb 2019 that saw her reach the podium of five Continental and World Cup races and shoot up both the ITU World Rankings and the all important Olympic rankings table.Para Athlete of the YearDonnacha McCarthy was a popular recipient of the Para Athlete of the Year, which he earned for this domination of the domestic scene and a series of very strong performances in international racing alongside guides Bryan McCrystal, Eoin Lyons and Stephen Teeling Lynch.Junior Athlete of the YearTwo top twenty results at European Championship level and an ongoing dedication to training and improvement earned teenager Maeve Gallagher the Junior Athlete of the Year award. Spirit of Triathlon AwardOne of the evening's warmest receptions went to NorthWest TC's Roisín Lynch.Roisin won the Spirit of Triathlon Award for the manner in which she achieved a silver medal in Age Group race at the Lausanne ITU Grand Final. As he presented her with her trophy, Off The Ball's Ger Gilroy remarked that Roisin Lynch embodied the qualities of positive spirit and inspiration for which the award was created. Roisin was also later presented with the Age Group Athlete of the year, both for her silver medal in Lausanne but also for another silver she had won earlier in the season at the European Sprint Championships in Weert.Coach of the YearTony Daley from Predator Junior Triathlon club received the Coach of the Year award for his longstanding work to encourage kids and teenagers to take up and stick with the sport of triathlon in Galway. These efforts have helped Predator Junior Triathlon club grow to have the largest junior membership in the country and become a force to be reckoned with at Junior Championship and Post Primary Schools Championship events. Technical Official of the YearColm Murray won Technical Official of the Year for his fair and efficient application of the ITU rulebook and for engaging so well with athletes and race organisers.He was praised for bringing a spirit of friendliness and fair play to what can sometimes be an overlooked - but absolutely vital element to the successful running of our sport.Volunteer of the YearKate Hawney of Sligo TC won Volunteer of the Year for her tireless work in supporting her club and her leadership in the area of new members.Kate is a leading figure in Sligo TC's Womens Initiative which has been running for nine years and introduces women to triathlon for the first time but more importantly helps get them back into enjoying exercise again.During this time, Kate has supported, coached and organised the club's six-week programme which culminates in a fun Try-a-Tri event.In 2019, almost 400 women of all ages and abilities took part in this event.Caroline Kearney AwardThe inspiring Joanne McDonald was the recipient of the Caroline Kearney Award. This award is presented for exceptional contribution to the sport of triathlon by a female athlete and is named in honour of the high performance athlete Caroline Kearney, who was killed while training on her bike in 2005.Joanne got into triathlon just four years ago after her eight year-old son told her he wanted to do an Ironman. Joanne started to do some training with him and he even taught her to swim.Joanne then inspired some mums in her local school to take part in a triathlon and thus began Joanne’s journey into encouraging, sporting and inspiring others to take part in triathlon. Joanne faced numerous barriers along the way to becoming a triathlete and wanted help others overcome the obstacles preventing them from getting involved.She designed a 12 week beginner programme aimed at women, tackling issues such as; work life balance, parenting, juggling a job, finances, cost of equipment.Joanne's enthusiasm has had a seismic effect on her TriLimits triathlon club, which now boasts a 50-50 male to female ratio and has helped develop a strong identity of togetherness, becoming a family of athletes for both men and women. Club of the YearLanesboro's Triathlon Club won club of the year for implementing exceptional standards of good governance and for fostering an inclusive environment in their Co. Longford club.Among the praiseworthy elements noted by Triathlon Ireland's judging committee were Lanesboro's equal number of male and female members, its successful staging of the Two Provinces Triathlon over many years and its contribution to the sport through its New2Tri beginners programme.Lanesboro was also recognised for fostering strong growth in junior triathlete numbers and for contributing to its local community through various charity and volunteer initiatives.Race of the YearTriLimits TC had a double reason to celebrate before the night was out. Hot on the heals of the recognition club member Joanne McDonald recieved through the Caroline Kearney award, the Co. Tyrone club was announced as the winner of the coveted Race of the Year award for its TriTyrone middle distance event.Later in the evening, the TriTyrone event was announced as next year's Middle Distance National Championships.Hall of Fame - Aileen ReidFinally, Aileen Reid and Con O'Callaghan were inducted in to the Triathlon Ireland Hall of Fame.Aileen Reid became just the fourth athlete to be included in the prestigious gallery alongside previous winners Ger Hartmann, Anne Kearney and Desi McHenry.Aileen Reid is Ireland's most successful triathlete with long and impressive list of race results to her name.She represented Ireland at the Olympic Games in London (2012) and Rio (2016) and featured on the podiums of no fewer than 14 ITU races.Reid was ranked among the top ten female athletes in the world for three consecutive years and won a silver medal at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final 2013 in London.At the awards, Olympians Bryan Keane and Gavin Noble paid tribute to Aileen's enormous talent and her mental strength which she deployed to constantly improve her abilities until she reached world class level.Aileen's former coach and former Triathlon Ireland high performance director Chris Jones said it had been a delight to work with Aileen, who he praised for maximising what she had. "I can only thank you for my opportunity to work with you... it was a privilege and an honour to be part of that."Aileen, who now lives in Australia, was unable to attend the awards but was represented by Dermott Connolly from NorthWest TC. Hall of Fame - Con O'CallaghanThe second inductee in to the Triathlon Ireland Hall of Fame was Con O'Callaghan, a figure instrumental in the establishment of both Triathlon Ireland and the European Triathlon Union.In 1982, Con organised a meeting in Belfast with the aim of formulating the Northern Irish Triathlon Association. Because all but one of the 38 participants were from the north, the original intention of this meeting was to form a Northern Irish sporting body.However, when the lone participant from south of the border - Gerry Kelly - asked if the South could be incorporated into the body, Con O'Callaghan agreed to drop the word 'Northern' from the title and the all-island, Irish Triathlon Association was born.But Con was not just known for his powers or organisation - he was also a very active triathlete at a time when the sport was in its infancy. He competed in the very first European Triathlon Championships in 1985 and was a fixture at racing across Ireland throughout the 1980s and 90s.Con, who is now in his 80s, was presented with his Hall of Fame award by current ETU President Renato Bertrandi.