There was a lot of paper, all of it now recycled, and a lot of intelligent and at times impassioned debate yesterday as we gathered the judging panel for the 2019 Irish Sport Industry Awards.

The quality of entry was exceptional with almost 200 nominations from around the country for the six open and seven closed categories.

Carol Andrews of BNY Mellon and advocate in Ireland for the 30% Club was among the judges and will have been warmed by the fact that we hit our own 30% target, the panel comprising three men and seven women.

Rob Hartnett from Sport for Business was in the Chair and kept things rolling finishing the final deliberation four minutes beyoind the three hours allotted to the job in hand.

There were some stand out candidates and many more of the categories where shortlisting five proved a mammoth task and picking an eventual winner was only possible on the sharpest knife edge of margins.

Thanks to Amanda Harton from JLT, Carol Andrews, Miriam Malone hotfoot from the launch of the Paralympics Ireland Strategic Plan launch, Dave McHugh of Line UP SME, Rob Hartnett, Gerry McDermott of Fingal County Council, Fiona Coghlan, Cliona O’Leary from RTÉ, Sinéad Galvin from Galvin Sports Management and Jill Downey for putting in the time to research, digest and ultimately decide.

Special thanks also to Sinéad Conroy from the Federation who made it all possible with a trojan amount of work put in.

That’s the way to run an awards and while not eveyone was unanimous about the full list of eventual winners, the process of getting there meant that everyy one was awarded fairly.

The Federation of Irish Sport and Sport for Business will publish the full shortlist of those who made the final cut yesterday and the winners will be unveiled at a special Awards night, celebrating the Irish Sports Industry at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown on Monday, April 15th.