Stephen Kenny named Personality of the Year at SSE Airtricity/SWAI Awards
- Cork City’s Mark McNulty named SSE Airtricity/SWAI Goalkeeper of the Year -
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has been presented with the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland Personality of the Year award for 2016.
Kenny enjoyed a remarkable season in charge of the Lilywhites. The Dubliner led the County Louth club to their third title in a row and to the group stages of the Europa League. Kenny’s side also made it to the FAI Cup final.
The Dundalk boss was part of a six-man shortlist for the Personality of the Year award and was announced as the winner at Dublin's Conrad Hotel on Monday 16 January, in front of Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and assistant manager Roy Keane.
The other nominees all came from Dundalk and Cork City, with Lilywhites trio Daryl Horgan, Chris Shields and Andy Boyle, joined by Cork boss John Caulfield and striker Sean Maguire.
It is the second time Kenny has won the award after he collected the gong in 2014.
Meanwhile, Cork City’s Mark McNulty picked up the Goalkeeper of the Year award at the banquet.
McNulty had an impressive season as Caulfield’s side finished runners-up in the league and won the FAI Cup. He recorded 25 clean sheets and conceded just 23 goals.
Joe Veselsky won the Special Merit award. The Slovakian nonagenarian has had a long association with the League of Ireland, first through Shamrock Rovers, where he was a director, and UCD, where he has been Executive Life President since 1987.
Veselsky was born before World War One was over and served in World War Two as a partisan in the Tartra Mountains, fighting for his homeland against the German advance.
Joe settled in Dublin in the late 1940s and became established as a leading figure in table tennis, captaining the Irish team for many years and is a long-serving Life President of the Irish Table Tennis Association.
A jeweller by profession, for many years, Joe provided an engraved watch to the winner of the Personality of the Year award.
Ireland's record international goalscorer Robbie Keane received a special presentation from Irish manager Martin O'Neill on behalf of the SWAI in recognition of his outstanding service to Irish football.
Keane retired last August after scoring his 68th international goal in his 146th appearance.
Keane later made a presentation on behalf of the SWAI to Brendan Bradley, the all-time League of Ireland goalscorer with 235 goals. It was the first time the leading international and leading league goalscorers have been pictured together.
Personality of the Year: Stephen Kenny (Dundalk)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Mark McNulty (Cork City)
Special Merit: Joe Veselsky