Opel Ireland kicked off their 2016 season as proud supporters of GAA, with the announcement of Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin) and Conor McGrath (Clare) as the Opel GAA/GPA All-Star Players of the Month for April in football and hurling respectively. The players, both of whom were pivotal in leading their counties to National league wins, saw off stiff competition to be chosen by the inter-county playing body.
Ciaran Kilkenny takes the honours in football, as Jim Gavin’s all-conquering Dubs once again came out on top to claim their fourth National Football League title in a row. The Castleknock half-forward put in a sterling man of the match performance against the Kingdom in the Division 1 final clash, with 2 important points which saw his side enjoy a 2-18 to 0-13 win over old rivals Kerry on the day. Defending title-holders Dublin will take on Laois at Nowlan Park on June 4th in their opening game of the championship.
Acknowledged by his peers for his inspiration performances throughout the Banner County’s league campaign, scorer-in-chief Conor McGrath takes home the Player of the Month plaudit for April. The league final replay saw the Cratloe hurler pick up where he left off in the draw, bringing his personal haul on the day to 0-8 and helping his side clinch victory over the Déise. With a final score-line of 2-19 to 1-23 these sides will meet for the third time on June 4th when they go head to head once again in the Munster SHC.
“We are proud to continue our association with Gaelic Games in 2016 as the official car partner of the GAA and GPA and sponsors of the Opel All-Star Awards. The commencement of the coveted Opel GAA/GPA Player of the Month award allows us to recognise the highest achievers in our game, whose standout performances drove their counties to success, ably assisted by their respective inter-county teammates. Congratulations to Ciaran Kilkenny and Conor McGrath on their award” said Dave Sheeran, Managing Director, Opel Ireland. “I’d like to take this opportunity to wish our players and their counties, the very best of luck in the championship months ahead.”
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail said: “Once again we’ve had superb Allianz League competitions with some fantastic performances that have lit up our activity between the months of February and May. It’s quite fitting that our two winners this month helped fuel their respective team’s drive for success.
“Dublin’s position on the leaderboard of Gaelic football was consolidated with another league victory and Ciarán Kilkenny played a starring role throughout. Similarly, Conor McGrath was central and to the fore as Clare claimed league honours for the first time since the late 1970s. Well done to both players who have been singled out by their peers and a special word of thanks to Opel for their ongoing support of awards that acknowledge excellence.”
Speaking about the Award winners, Dessie Farrell, Chief Executive of the GPA said: “Congratulations to Conor and Ciaran who have been recognised by GAA journalists and their peers for their contributions during the final stages of the National Leagues. Both players contributed hugely to the collective efforts of their respective squads and both can look forward to playing a big part in the championship when their counties enter the fray next month. Thanks to Dave Sheeran and the Opel Ireland team for their continued and staunch support of our players and the GAA/GPA All-Star Awards scheme and thanks to all the players who cast their votes to honour the April/May winners.”