Outstanding Contribution to Irish Tennis

Background

This is a unique award for the recognition of the “Outstanding Contribution to Irish Tennis” personality and was first presented in Carrickmines in 2009.

 

The Award

The award recognises the outstanding contribution made by members of the tennis community in making a material difference to the development of Irish tennis.

 

Roll of Honour

2009: Gerry Clarke – Gerry established the veteran’s tennis competition in Ireland. He was instrumental in setting up the national senior teams representing Ireland in the international ITF competitions. He is two times winner of the British Open over 80’s singles title.
Gerry Clarke
Gerry presented with the 2009 award by Lady Captain Deirdre O’Meara

 

2010: June Ann Byrne –  A Senior International player who has played in the DLTC Leagues for eight decades! June Ann is a former Carrickmines Lady Captain and she won the County Dublin Ladies singles title three times. She has played in the Grand Slam  tournaments and was winning her Semi final of the French Open Mixed Doubles, at Roland Garros in the late 50s until her her partner, Manuel Santana, had to retire with an injury.
 June Ann Byrne

 

                                               June Ann Byrne
2011: Joe D Hackett – A top player in Ireland for over a decade. Joe played Davis Cup for Ireland as the leading player and acted as Non-playing Captain to the team after his playing days were over. He won the Men’s Open singles title in Carrickmines a record five times.  Joe was chosen to be the President of Fitzwilliam LTC in the club’s centenary year – 1977.
Joe Hackett

Joe on the right receiving the award from President, Pat Delany

with Tennis Director, Pat Crowe

2012: Harry Barniville (1927 -2013) – Harry was a former International player and Irish Davis Cup team Non Playing Captain. His legacy was establishing the “Barniville Babes”, so christened by Irish Times Columnist, Vera McWeeney, (herself a former international player and member of Carrickmines). This initiative produced many future Irish Champions and improved the quality of tennis in Ireland substantially. Harry represented Carrickmines on the Leinster Branch of the Irish Lawn Tennis Association (ILTA) & Tennis Ireland and was a former President of Fitzwilliam LTC.

Harry Barniville

                          Harry Barniville playing his trade mark backhand

2013: Jim McArdle – Jim was presented with this year’s award for the “Outstanding Contribution to Irish Tennis” at the Presidents lunch on the Open Week Finals Day.Jim has been a regular visitor to Carrickmines, winning the Men’s Open Singles four times spanning over three decades! He was a regular member of the Irish Davis Cup Team.  In 1983, he played on the Irish team, the only time Ireland played in the World Group. Ireland narrowly lost to a John McEnroe inspired USA team before a packed audience at the RDS in what was the golden era for Irish tennis. After retiring from playing, Jim captained the Irish Davis Cup Team for seven years and also captained the team in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

 

Jim McArdle

 

Jim on left receiving his award from President, Cathal Muckian

 

2014: Conor Niland – Conor was presented with the 2014 award for the “Outstanding contribution to Irish Tennis” at Open Week Finals Day Presidents lunch on 12th July.

Conor reached an ATP Ranking of 129! He won three Challenger Events in India, and both the Austrian and Israel Opens. He also qualified Wimbledon and the US Open where he lost to the eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court. He has played for 13 consecutive years on the Irish Davis Cup teams, as the leading player, from 2000 -2013.

His career was unfortunately cut short with hip injuries in 2013 but Conor remains active in tennis. He coaches at the National Tennis Centre in DCU and with some of the most promising juniors in Carrickmines.

Cathal, Pat and Conor Niland

 

Conor receiving the 2014 award from Club President, Cathal Muckian with Tennis Director,Pat Crowe and below pictured in action at Wimbledon in 2011

Conor Niland in Wimbledon