Bronagh Lennon from St Mary’s Aghagallon had the honour of receiving a prestigious GAA President’s Award last Friday evening in The Hogan Suite in Croke Park. The Aghagallon club member said that she was “honoured and privileged to receive such an accolade. When I received the letter, I was so shocked but so honoured. We had a brilliant evening in Croke Park.”
The award is one presented to volunteers within the association who have made a huge impact on the GAA. Bronagh was awarded the Gradam na Gaeilge, the Presidential Award for the promotion of language and culture. President of the GAA, Larry McCarthy presented the awards to the recipients during a live TV broadcast on TG4.
Bronagh has worked tirelessly to promote Irish culture and language in her club, in her county and throughout Ulster. A former County Cultural Officer and current County Scór Officer, she is at the forefront in organising cultural events during Seachtain na Gaeilge to ensure the Irish language has presence within the GAA in her county. Bronagh has taken part and mentored participants in Scór from an early age and the Irish language has more often than not had a presence in those acts.
Bronagh revived the Gaeltacht scholarship scheme in Antrim in her work as Oifigeach Cultúir agus Gaeilge in which hundreds of school goers have availed of and benefited from. Bronagh herself has a strong connection with the Loch an Iúir and Rann na Feirste Gaeltacht areas in northwest Donegal and spent many a summer teaching Irish, music and dance in Loch an Iúir. She also ensured that the Irish language had a significant presence in match programmes and on Antrim social media platforms during her time as Cultural Officer.
Along with Ulster Scór Chairperson, Paula Magee, she has organised national anthem workshops in Ulster counties, training all singers ahead of Ulster Championship. During the pandemic, Bronagh started the Saffron Singers and used the group to promote songs as Gaeilge. She ran online Irish courses for young and old as well as lectures for clubs on Irish surnames. She continues to work tirelessly to promote Irish language and culture in her native county of Antrim and further afield. When we asked Bronagh about her work within the GAA, she said: “The GAA is a central part of my life. It’s something I really love. The manifesto of where we all belong is so true. I am one who has found my place within the GAA outside of involvement in sport. Scór and language have been a part of my life since I was very young. All GAA volunteers do trojan work. I am proud to be a representative for these hardworking Gaels who give up so much of their time for the GAA. I love the challenges that the life of a GAA volunteer presents. I look forward to continuing my work to promote the language and culture in the GAA, as well as continuing my work in strategic planning, inclusion and demographics. “ Bronagh is the current County Scór Officer, South West Antrim Cultural Officer, a member of the Ulster Scór Committee, a member of the National Scór Committee and she is the Secretary of the Provincial Leadership and Planning Committee. We congratulate her on her award and wish her luck in her continued work in the County and further afield.
Bronagh got a second chance to enjoy her celebration the following evening when her club St Mary’s Aghagallon celebrated the club’s 40th anniversary Gala in the Carrickdale Hotel, where, as luck would have it, GAA President Larry Carthy was again in attendance. The main photo on this report is of the President presenting the medal to Bronagh again.