Ireland and Ospreys winger Tommy Bowe has been named Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Player of the Year and received his award at a function in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin this evening.
All Ireland League and Cup Champions Cork Constitution were voted Club of the Year the and the Ireland Under 20 team picked up the Dave Guiney perpetual award as Team of the Year in recognition of their Six Nations triumph.
The Tom Rooney Award, for making an exceptional contribution to the game, went to Gerry Murphy, the former Ireland manager and current Leinster Provincial Domestic Team Manager.
The two new members inducted to the Guinness Hall of Fame were back row forward Willie Duggan and winger Cecil Pedlow.
Bowe had an exceptional year winning nearly every award available to him both at home and abroad.
A former Monaghan minor Gaelic footballer, Bowe became the first man from the Farney county to play for Ireland in 80 years when he lined out against the USA in November 2004.
Since then Bowe has established himself as one of Ireland’s most consistent performers and was duly rewarded with a call up to the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa in the summer of 2009.
Cork Constitution enjoyed an exceptional year last year scooping the AIL league and Cup double.
Con won Club of the Year in 1991 for the first time and this award makes it their fourth in all.
The Ireland Under 20s had another outstanding season as they topped the table in their Six Nations campaign. Second-placed England needed a 47-point winning margin against France in order to knock Ireland off top spot but they could only manage a 47-31 scoreline in Saint Nazaire.
That left Allen Clarke's Ireland squad to celebrate a well-deserved title success as, with four wins from five games, they become the first Irish winners of the Under 20 crown since the 2007 Grand Slam side.
The class of 2010, captained by flanker Rhys Ruddock, completed their campaign with a brilliant 44-15 victory over Scotland at Dubarry Park, which is now a recognised 'fortress' for the Under-20 sides.
Murphy, who took the Tom Rooney Award for services to rugby, played for Dublin University and Wanderers, where he began his coaching career. He spent a season with Clontarf before coaching the Ireland Under-21 squad and the Development squad that toured South Africa.
The Dubliner then led Ireland from 1992-'95, including successive victories over England in Dublin in 1993 and Twickenham in 1994 and his spell concluded by guiding Ireland to a quarter-final place in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. He also spent six years coaching with Terenure College.
Murphy was appointed Provincial Domestic Team Manager in August 2008 and oversees the implementation of Leinster's underage representative strategy.
There were two new additions to the Guinness Hall of Fame, in Duggan and Pedlow.
Duggan won 41 Irish Caps, between January 1975 and March 1984, finishing his international career as captain of Ireland and played club rugby for Blackrock College RFC.
He was widely regarded as one of the world’s top No. 8’s and in 1977 he was selected to represent the British and Irish Lions on the tour to New Zealand.
Pedlow entered the international arena in March 1953 as Ireland played their final match of their Five Nations campaign.
He went on to gain 30 caps playing both on the wing and in the centre over the next 11 seasons. In all he scored 31 points for Ireland and also toured with the lions in 1955 when he was capped in two tests, scoring a try in the first and a conversion in the second. A dentist by profession, Pedlow also played squash for Ireland.