Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Armagh’s Fionnuala McKenna receives major Queen’s GAA honour  

A decade after his untimely passing, Cormac McAnallen’s memory and legacy have been marked with the third presentation of an annual medal in his honour. The 2014 recipient of a specially commissioned Cormac McAnallen Medal is Armagh’s Fionnuala McKenna.

The inter-county star has featured prominently for Queen’s in their O’Connor Cup campaigns in recent years, becoming a key member of the teams that won the national title in 2013 and which reached the final at Queen’s GAA Festival in Belfast this year. She is a former student of St Catherine’s College, Armagh where Cormac McAnallen taught.

The Queen’s University’s GAA Club and Past Members’ Union (PMU) initiated the award in 2012. The prestigious honour is presented for outstanding commitment to, and performance for, the Queen’s club and the senior teams. Previous recipients were Mark Sweeney (2012) and Conor Caldwell (2013).

Cormac McAnallen was an exceptional sportsman and his untimely passing in 2004 cut short a remarkable young career. He played at Queen’s for four years, winning a Sigerson Cup medal in 2000 and a Ryan Cup in 1999. He added an Ulster and All-Ireland double with Tyrone in 2003 as well as a GAA Allstar. Cormac graduated from Queen’s with a BA in 2001. He was later honoured the University as Graduate of the Year 2004, the first time that the Award was made posthumously.

Among the guests at Wednesday’s presentation were members of the McAnallen family and past and present Queen’s players.

The Past Members’ Union, formed under the chairmanship of the late Paddy O’Hara in 1990, was established to foster continued friendship among alumni of the Club, while supporting initiatives and ongoing development of the present Gaelic Football Club.

John Devaney, Queen's GAA PMU Chairman, said: “Fionnuala’s performances on the field and commitment to her team and Club personify the very qualities that we now associate with this honour, and that we associate with Cormac. The Ladies’ Football senior team has been one of the most successful at the University over the past two years and Fionnuala has been an outstanding member. We also know that this medal is a special award and it is something that players at Queen’s aspire to.”

Photo: 2014 Cormac McAnallen recipient Fionnuala McKenna (2nd from right) with (l-r): Bridget McAnallen, Diarmuid Marsden, Donal McAnallen and John Devaney (Chairman, QUB GAA Past Members Union)

For media inquiries, please contact Aidan O’Rourke GAA Development Officer Queen’s University Belfast Mob + 44 (0) 7989746514 Email




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