After a long and uncertain lead in to the 2022 Canoeing Ireland Awards it was fantastic to be able to host an in person ceremony on the evening of March 8th. With the award winners, nominees and invited guests in attendance it was a wonderful night celebrating the achievements of our athletes and volunteers over the course of a brilliant year in paddlesports. We were also extremely pleased to welcome Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD, to join us in recognising and celebrating the achievements of paddlesports in 2021.

The ceremony was opened with an address from the Minister, detailing the great impact that engagement with sport has on the community as a whole, as well as congratulating the awards winners on their achievements. To begin the Awards themselves we began with recognising the fantastic performances of the athletes in each of our disciplines. Athlete of the Year was awarded for Senior Male and Female, and Junior Male and Female. Stand Up Paddle, Ocean Racing, Paddlesurf, Freestyle, Marathon, Canoe Polo, Canoe Slalom and Canoe Sprint all had the great performances of their athletes over the 2021 season.

We were extremely happy to receive an address from the newly appointed CEO of Sport Ireland, Dr Una May. Unfortunately unable to attend on the night, Una May very kindly recorded a message for the award winners and attendees.

The first of our community awards, Event of the Year, was decided by public vote and won by a massive margin by the Limerick Charity 10k Paddle. This event got 170 people out on the water to raise funds for Rape Crisis Midwest, and in a great move for gender equality in the sport had a 55% female attendance.

The Team of the Year was awarded to the Irish Freestyle Kayaking team for their outstanding performance at the 2021 European Champonships, seeing 5 athletes qualify through to the semi-finals. Including the eventual bronze medal winner in the K1 Womens, Aoife Hanrahan, and K1 Men European Champion, David McClure.

An award that speaks to the heart of paddlesports in Ireland, the Community Impact Award, is given to a person who embodies and at all times promotes the community spirit of paddlesports, welcoming all newcomers to our sport. It was this year won be Ivan MacDonald of the Mullingar Harbour Canoe Polo Club.

Jenny Egan and David McClure were also both the very worthy recipients of Outstanding Achievement Awards, for their incredible performances representing Ireland at championship level in 2021. Jenny having won a silver medal in the 5000m at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, and David of course becoming freestyle kayaking European Champion.

Claire Kelly was the winner of the new Club Hero award. Recognising the incredible work done daily in our clubs all over the country. Claire is a vital part of Meelick-Eyrecourt Kayak Club, currently serving on the committee as Treasurer.

Our favourite award to give each year is the Volunteer of the Year, with no shortage of incredible volunteers we have around the country any opportunity given to us to reward their selfless work is taken with both hands. This year we were inundated with nominations for volunteers from clubs and disciplines all over the country. The stories told in the submissions were enough for us to pick any number of winners, but unfortunately there could only be one winner. Susan Honan from the East Coast Sea Kayak Club was selected by the panel as this years Volunteer of the Year. Susan has built an inspiring community of women paddlers in the East Coast Sea Kayak Club, going above and beyond organising several women’s days within the club to ensure women feel welcome and included in the club. Her contribution to Sea Kayaking as a whole has been outstanding, both developing and delivering the Sea Kayaking awards as well as writing for the Irish Sea Kayaking Association Magazine. We were delighted to recognise Susan’s contribution to the sport.

The evening was closed with another new Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, to acknowledge someone’s outstanding contribution to the sport over a long period. The first ever recipient of the award was the most recognisable and warmest photographer in paddlesports in Ireland, Mick Feeney. Being an integral part in the founding of the Liffey Descent, the Canoe Slalom Committee and the Sprint Committee, Mick has made his mark on every corner of paddlesports. Aside from this Mick has travelled the country capturing fantastic images from events as far back as any of us can remember. It gave us great pleasure to recognise and award Micks contribution to our sport.

We are looking forward to welcoming all our members to a full Awards evening in November of this year, to properly join together to celebrate the achievements in our sport.

Full List of Winners –

Athletes of the Year

Stand UP Paddle

Senior Male: Ross Mcgarry

Senior Female: Marie Opprboen

Junior Male: Guy Mangan

Junior Female: Caoimhe Gallagher Byrne

Ocean Racing

Senior Female: Roisin Cahill

Junior Male: Finn Harris

Junior Female: Nicole Harcus


Senior Male: Kieran McDyre

Senior Female: Brigette Egan

Junior Male: Olan O’Brien


Senior Male: Kieran McDyre

Senior Female: Brigette Egan

Junior Male: Olan O’Brien


Senior Male: David McClure

Senior Female: Aoife Hanrahan

Junior Male: Rory Kearney

Junior Female: Leah Hough


Senior Male: Ronan Foley

Senior Female: Jenny Egan

Junior Male: Eavan O’Keeffe

Junior Female: Éabha Ní Drisceoil

Canoe Polo

Senior Male: Conor Mc Loughlin

& Kevin Quinn

Senior Female: Rachel Molloy

Junior Male: Patrick MacDonald

Junior Female: Moira Scott

Canoe Slalom

Senior Male: Jake Cochrane

Senior Female: Michaela Corcoran

Junior Male: Tom Morley

Canoe Sprint

Senior Male: Patrick O’Leary

Senior Female: Jenny Egan

Junior Male: Eavan O’Keeffe

Junior Female: Éabha Ní Drisceoil

Event of the Year

Limerick 10k Charity Paddle

Community Impact Award

Ivan MacDonald

Outstanding Achievement Award

David McClure

Volunteer of the Year

Susan Honan

Team of the Year

Irish Freestyle Kayaking Team

Outstanding Achievement Award

Jenny Egan

Club Hero Award

Claire Kelly

Lifetime Achievement Award

Mick Feeney