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Heffernan crowned Irish Life Health Athlete of the Year

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Robert Heffernan crowned Irish Life Health Athlete of the Year 

Robert Heffernan (Togher) was named as the Athlete of the Year at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards which in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry today (December 6).

Heffernan (Togher) got the top honour as a result of finishing 8th in the 50km Race Walk at the World Athletics Championships - this also saw him collect the Endurance Athlete of the Year award.

The Cork man held off Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) who won the Track and Field Athlete of the Year award.

Ray Flynn was inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2017. Flynn ran an impressive 89 sub 4 minute miles throughout his career and he is the current Irish record holder for the 1500m & mile. Flynn enjoyed a brilliant athletics career which included representing Ireland at two Olympic Games – 1980 & 1984. He was a finalist in the 5000m at the 1984 Olympics in LA. Flynn was also part of the quartet that set the 4 x 1 mile world record in Dublin in 1985 alongside previous Hall of Fame recipients Marcus O’Sullivan, Eamonn Coughlan & Frank O’Mara.

You can watch video interviews with Heffernan, Flynn and Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock-Louth), U20 athlete of the year, on the Athletics Ireland Facebook page HERE. You can also get more updates from the awards on our Twitter HERE

While the National Athletics Awards is a celebration of the many successes of our international and national it also commemorates the association’s exceptional volunteer base. Al Guy was named as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient – the pinnacle volunteer award while Pat Kelly of St Abban's AC won the Outstanding Official of the Year.

Award Winners

Athlete of the Year: Robert Heffernan (Togher)

Hall of Fame: Ray Flynn

Lifetime service to Athletics: Al Guy

Outstanding Official Award: Pat Kelly (St Abban's)

U20 Athlete: Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock - Louth)

U23 Athlete: Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD)

Endurance: Robert Heffernan (Togher)

Track & Field: Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers)

Inspirational Performance: Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers)

Special Recognition Award: Deirdre Ryan and Paul Hession

Performance Club: Clonliffe Harriers

Development Club: Nenagh Olympic AC

Team of the Year: Irish men's European Race Walking Team

Service to Coaching: Hayley and Drew Harrison

Mountain Runner: Des Kennedy (Raheny Shamrock)

Master Athlete: Mark O'Shea (Drogheda and District)

Ultra Athlete: Eoin Keith (Sportsworld)

University Athlete: Phil Healy (Bandon/UCC)

Schools Athletes: Michaela Walsh and Christopher O’Donnell

European Athletics Awards: Teresa McDaid, Paddy Marley and Donie Walsh

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