Amateur stars get €73,000 in grants

Grants totalling €73,000 have been awarded by the Golfing Union of Ireland to leading amateur golfers.

The grant allocation, which is funded by the Irish Sports Council, is in respect of national and international competition and training costs in 2008.

The grants are awarded based on specific criteria agreed by the Irish Sports Council and the Golfing Union of Ireland. Shane Lowry (Esker Hills) and Paul Cutler (Portstewart) are the top recipients, both receiving  a grant of €6,000, while Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin) and Dara Lernihan (Castle) both receive €5,000.

Lowry won both the West and North of Ireland Championships, Kearney was the winner of the South of Ireland Championship, and along with Cutler were members of the Ireland team that successfully won the European Team Championship for the second year in a row, while Lernihan, who finished runner-up in the Irish Close Championship made his debut for Ireland in the Home Internationals.

Grants are provided to assist players with expenses incurred while competing in Championships, where they are not already covered by the GUI as members of selected panels for the various events, and in keeping with the Rules of Amateur Status.

A total of 41 players from the three National Panels – Senior, Youths and Boys - received grants. Below is a breakdown of the €73,000 awarded.

€6,000 Shane Lowry (Esker Hills), Paul Cutler (Portstewart)

€5,000 Dara Lernihan (Castle), Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin), Eoin Arthurs (Forrest Little)

€3,000 Andrew Hogan (Newlands)

€2,500 Alan Dunbar (Rathmore), Rory McNamara (Headfort)

€2,000 Seamus Power (West Waterford), Garth Boyd (Donaghadee), Paul Dunne (Greystones), Michael Durcan (Co. Sligo), Connor Doran (Banbridge), Simon Ward (Co. Louth), Cathal O’Malley (Westport)

€1,500 Cian Curley (Newlands), Pat Murray (Limerick), Fergal Rafferty (Dungannon), Garth McGee (Malone) 

€1,000 Barry Anderson (Co. Sligo), Chris Drumm (Rosslare), Simon Doherty (Malone), James Patterson (Knock), Nicky Grant (Knock), Kelan McDonagh (Athlone), Stephen Healy (Claremorris), David Leathem (Lisburn), Craig Martin (Kilkenny), Brendan Walton (The Island), Declan King (Tramore), Stephen Brady (Co. Sligo), Colin Fairweather (Knock), Iarlaith Keane (Malahide), Sean Morrison (City of Derry), Paul O’Kane (Moyola Park), Ciaran O’Connor (Athlone), Stephen Crowe (Dunmurry).

€500 Luke Lennox (Moyola Park), Richard O’Donovan (Lucan), Chris Selfridge (Moyola Park), Reeve Whitson (Mourne)