Kenny and McNulty win SWAI Awards

Stephen Kenny has won the SSE Airtricity / Soccer Writers' of Ireland 'Personality of the Year' award for the first time and received his prize at the annual banquet in Dublin's Conrad Hotel.

Dundalk manager Kenny guided the club to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title at the end of October for the first time in 19 years.

It was the second top flight league championship won by the 43-year-old Dubliner, who took charge of the Lilywhites squad in November 2012 and led them to second place in the 2013 campaign.

The destination of the title went to the last day when Dundalk beat their nearest challengers Cork City at Oriel Park and Kenny's nearest challenger for the 'Personality of the Year' award, which was presented at Dublin's Conrad Hotel, was Cork's manager John Caulfield.

Kenny's moment of triumph was, however, tinged with sadness as his father passed away earlier in the day.

Also in the running were Dundalk players Richie Towell and Pat Hoban, St Patrick's Athletic striker Christy Fagan and St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley, whose side broke a 53-year hoodoo in winning the FAI Cup in November.

Meanwhile Cork City's Mark McNulty picked up the 'Goalkeeper of the Year' award at the banquet.

McNulty enjoyed an excellent season for the Leesiders, whose title chase was greatly boosted by the 34-year-old's 16 clean sheets in the Premier Division and 19 in total.

The Ballincollig native, who was honoured with the award for the first time, fended off competition from Dundalk's Peter Cherrie and last year's winner, Brendan Clarke of St Patrick's Athletic.

The Special Merit award went to Liam Tuohy. The 81-year-old Dubliner's outstanding service to Irish football includes representing his country as a player and manager, at senior and underage level.

Among the attendance at the event were Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohoe, TD, Republic of Ireland senior team manager Martin O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane and FIFA Puskas nominee Stephanie Roche who a member of the Republic of Ireland Women's National Team.