Echo Sport Awards 2018: Emotional salute to one of the greats of Dublin Camogie, Gerry Hughes

IN WHAT was undoubtedly the most emotional point of The Echo 2018 Sports Awards Night, Betty ‘Gerry’ Hughes was honoured for her part in Dublin Camogie’s ‘Golden Era’ that stretched from the 1940s into the 1960s.

Gerry, a natural defender who was born and reared in Inchicore, played with CIE and made her inter-county debut for Dublin in 1954 when she won her first All-Ireland medal against Antrim.

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Betty 'Gerry' Hughes, surrounded by her family and with her nine All-Ireland medals and Hall of Fame Award at The Echo 2018 Sports Award Night held in the Green Isle Hotel.

She continued on to represent her county continuously from 1954 to 1963, winning no less than nine All-Ireland titles, captaining Dublin in 1961 and 1962.

As the winning captain in 1961, Gerry, in a wonderfully generous gesture, asked the great Kay Mills to accept the O’Duffy Cup as it was her last game playing for Dublin and one in which she had just won her, record break-ing, 15th All-Ireland medal.

Gerry, as an integral part of the Dublin 10-in-a-row team, was honoured last Thursday night with an emotional standing ovation by near to 300 guests at the 10th annual Awards Night during which her daughter Shirley said: “Camogie was a very big part of her life growing up in Inchicore and we’re all very proud of her achievements.”

Gerry herself acknowledged the amazing reception saying: “Thank you very, very much. They were the best days of my life, playing the camogie.”

Speaking after the event, Phyllis Breslin, Past President of the Camogie Association, said: “For the audience to respond to her the way they did and for her to respond to them like that, it was just fabulous.”

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