Dublin’s All Ireland winning Captain Sinead Aherne has been handed the Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman Award for September, and will share it with Cork Camogie Captain Rena Buckley.
These two sporting women are no stranger to each other, as Rena has played in defence for Cork Ladies Football team for over a decade and will have stared down an attack from Dublin forward Sinead Aherne on many an occasion.
But for this award, Buckley is representing Cork Camogie, as she captained her county to All Ireland success in September. Two weeks later Sinead took that same walk up the Hogan Stand steps to lift the Brendan Martin Cup for her beloved Dublin.
Sinead and Rena were only 17 when they appeared in their first All Ireland Final; Sinead in 2003 and Rena in 2004. And since then they have played a massive part in their counties’ games.
Buckley is on her own in terms of medals, with 18 All Irelands in Football and Camogie.
Sinead Aherne’s medal drawer would certainly be a lot fuller if it wasn’t for Buckley and her team mates. After Dublin’s All Ireland win over Tyrone in 2010, they’ve patiently waited until this this year to clinch the championship again. In that time Dublin met Cork three times between 2014 and 2016, losing on every occasion by the narrowest of margins.
But this year Mayo ended Cork’s Championship run in the Semi Finals and Dublin were immense in the Final, with Aherne scoring 0-09 to help her team mates to success again.
So these two share the September honour and will square off again in December when the Sportswomen of the year will be announced.