Katie Taylor Crowned Sportswoman Of The Year 2014

Boxer Katie Taylor has been crowned The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council 'Sportswoman of the Year 2014' for her exceptional achievement in winning a record breaking sixth European title and her fifth consecutive world title.Katie won her Sportswoman of the Month award in June after she claimed her sixth European title in Bucharest. Just last month the Bray boxer won her fifth consecutive world title at the AIBA Women's Word Championships at Jeju, South Korea.

Following an outstanding year for Irish women in sport, Katie was among 15 sports stars nominated for the 2014 title. It is her fourth time to win the award having previously won it in 2007, 2008 and 2012. Katie was presented with her award by Tanaiste Joan Burton at an awards ceremony in Dublin this afternoon (Fri 19th). This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Sportswoman of the Year awards which recognize the abilities and achievements of women in Irish sports.

One of Ireland's best known and respected racehorse trainers, Joanna Morgan was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for her valued contribution to the world of racing.
An Tanaiste Joan Burton, TD, said: "Irish sportswomen have excelled both nationally and internationally in a range of sports. Today we have recognised Irish women from a wide range of sports including soccer, athletics, boxing, golf and gaelic games. Their success is a result of the commitment and dedication which they give to their chosen sports.

Their exploits will help motivate thousands of girls and young women to continue to excel in sport, giving us a new generation of Irish sportswomen to be proud of. To the ladies celebrated here today I would say: Ireland needs you as sports heroes. We share in your continued success and are looking forward to watching your careers soar even higher. On the tenth birthday of this event I want to also thank The Irish Times and the Irish Sports Council for their continued support of these awards over the last decade. They have played a tremendous role in highlighting the successes of Irish women in national and international sporting arenas over that time"

Speaking after her win, Katie said: "I'm honoured and delighted to be named the Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman of the Year 2014. This has been an amazing year for me and for Irish women in sport and I would like to congratulate all the finalists in their respective fields who have excelled at major sporting events.
Whether its Fiona Coghlan or Maria McCambridge or Chloe Mustaki or Briege Corkery, all the finalists have played a huge part in gaining much needed recognition for females in sports. It is wonderful to have an award like this as it recognizes Irish Sports women and the amazing achievements that have brought us all here today."

The fifteen nominees received their monthly awards from Minister of State Michael Ring TD. and Kevin O'Sullivan, Editor, The Irish Times. Mr O'Sullivan said the award winners represented a golden generation in Irish sport. "Here today we have some of the greatest talents who have ever represented their sports, their families, their counties and their country. They are the true essence of sporting achievement and carry their success with a beguiling mix of humility, honesty and style".

"The extraordinary women who featured through the The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswomen campaign serve as role models for every aspiring athlete, and that is something that truly deserves celebration. On the tenth anniversary of the awards it is marvelous to welcome back previous award winners and to reflect on their wonderful achievements. Whether you won today or yesteryear we want to thank you for making us proud and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours."

Commenting on behalf of the Awards sponsor, Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of The Irish Sports Council said: "When Irish sports do well in the international arena it benefits all of us, bringing positive recognition for the country, an improved reputation and a boost to morale. It is with women like Katie Taylor, Stephanie Meadow and Savannah McCarthy as well as their coaching teams that bring these benefits to Ireland. The Irish Sports Council is proud to be part of awards that recognizes these achievements across a wide number of sports including athletics, squash, camogie, basketball, rugby, hockey, soccer, rowing, golf, boxing and gaelic football. Congratulations to Katie and all the finalists for giving us a great year for Irish Women in Sport."

Horse racing trainer Joanna Morgan was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for her valued contribution to the world of racing by Tanaiste Joan Burton. Born in the small Welsh town of Crickhowell Morgan began riding in Ireland aged 21 in 1974, becoming Ireland's first female professional jockey. Five years later she became the first woman to ride at Royal Ascot and continued to break down barriers by becoming the first woman to ride in an Irish Classic. A mother of three, Morgan retired as a jockey in 1997 having ridden more than 200 winners
She is now a widely respected trainer based at Ballivor in Co Meath. Indeed thirty five years after making history as a jockey at Royal Ascot - she trained a winner at the famous venue - Roca Tomu in the Britannia Handicap.