The recent establishment of the Munster Rugby Academy for elite young players in the province continues to progress positively with the establishment of an award for excellence. This award will be presented at a dinner in the Silver Springs Hotel on Wednesday 23rd August 2005.
The John McCarthy Award for Excellence will be presented to the player in the Academy displaying exceptional commitment and dedication to succeed in rugby.
The Award donated on behalf of the late Dr John McCarthy by his family is a significant honour, given that Dr John McCarthy was an exceptional sporting and academic character amongst his peers.
The late Dr John McCarthy was born in Midleton in 1906, educated at the Christian Brothers Midleton, Castleknock College Dublin and studied medicine at UCC where he qualified in 1931. Described as a brilliant rugby player he played with UCC and Munster, he was also the Cork County 100yard and 220yard champion.
After qualifying as a Doctor he went to England where he continued his rugby career with London-Irish and Middlesex. In 1960 he was honoured by being made a Fellow of the British Medical Association and in 1973 he was invested as a Knight of Malta for his many years of voluntary work in Lourdes. Dr McCarthy was also honoured on several occasions by the Pope.
In keeping with the excellence and character achieved by the late Dr John McCarthy in his lifetime, the recipient of the annual award is bestowed with a great honour. It is hoped in years to come that the perpetual trophy will include the names of many respected Munster and Irish players.
Some recent players to graduate from the national Academy programme include, Ronan O Gara, Peter Stringer, Frankie Sheahan, Denis Leamy, David Wallace, Marcus Horan, Anthony Foley to name but a few.
We hope to see many such distinguished names engraved on the John McCarthy trophy in the coming years.