Luke Fitzgerald, Heineken Cup winner with Leinster and Grand Slam winner with Ireland, was on hand at the Evening Herald School Sports Awards recently to hand over the many awards presented to some of the most talented young stars in school sports…

Fitzgerald, of course, has an affinity of sorts with the Evening Herald School Sports Awards having received an award with his Blackrock Senior Cup team in the not so distant past, alongside another Leinster star, Cian Healy.

While a young player touted as the next Brian O’Driscoll won the star of the year award last year – Brendan Macken of Blackrock College – the coach of the year award reflected the efforts of a man who has brought unprecedented success to a school with a much less prestigious rugby history.

Morgan Lennon defied the resources of time and tradition to make the upwardly mobile journey from the Leinster Schools (Section A) McMullen Senior Cup to the (Section C) Premier Challenge Cup first round with Newpark Comprehensive, before qualifying them for a Leinster Senior Cup first round tilt at powerhouse St Mary’s College.

Ciaran Whelan and the Evening Herald’s star of the year, Naoise Maguire, may ply their trades in different codes, but the former Dubs football captain no doubt realised the significance of the event.

Maguire has been starring for Coláiste Eanna for years and is also a member of the current Dublin minor team, as well as a Ballyboden St Enda’s side who have in recent years captured the Dublin Féile title and last year’s Dublin Under-16 title. He also represented the Dublin South team this year and is tipped for big things in the world of hurling.

As always, RTé Sport’s Des Cahill brought the perfect mix of nostalgia, knowledge and laugh-out-loud humour to proceedings as MC in Croke Park for the big event.

Meanwhile, up-and-coming athlete Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner was rewarded for a superb year in which she grabbed front-page headlines in the national papers, after winning the National Junior Cross Country before being disqualified for being too young, as she picked up the Star of the future Award.

Presentation College Bray Under-16 Boys Basketball team scooped the Team of the Year award having won the All-Ireland Schoolboys Under-16A Cup in a year which they embarked on an incredible unbeaten run.

In a departure from previous years, the School of the Year award was handed jointly to two schools who sit side by side – Coláiste Eoin and Coláiste íosagáin.

Incredibly, Coláiste Eoin reached the final of almost every GAA competition they entered, including a Leinster Colleges Senior football final.

íosagáin, meanwhile, have flourished in the fields of basketball and athletics, making both schools equally as worthy of the award.