Katie-George Dunlevy and Hannah Tyrrell named Sportswomen of the Month for August

An All-Ireland football final win for Tyrrell and more elite cycling medals for Dunlevy

It’s all fine and dandy having months like August, when there’s a slew of eye-catching performances by our sportswomen at home and abroad, but it’s always at times like this that we ask you, somewhat plaintively, to spare a thought for our beleaguered panel of judges.

Truly, if we could have more than a double award for any month, we’d have had in or around six joint winners for August – and that’s no lie.

In the end, two sportswomen rose to the top: the peerless Katie-George Dunlevy and one of our greatest ever all-rounders, Hannah Tyrrell.

If we were to list out Dunlevy’s achievements in cycling thus far, we’d be here until, oh, next August – which, coincidentally, is when she will start her campaign to add to her collection of Paralympic medals, three of them of the golden variety.


She showed her pedigree yet again at August’s World Championships in Glasgow when she racked up three more elite medals, opening up with a bronze on the track with her long-time partner Eve McCrystal, before triumphing with her more recent collaborator Linda Kelly in both the time trial and road race.

McCrystal and Kelly both deserve to be on our roll of honour, as does Cork’s Amy O’Connor for her outstanding display in the camogie All-Ireland final. Ciara Mageean would have been a worthy inclusion too, not to mention Róisín Ní Ríain for her success at the World Para Swimming Championships.

But Tyrrell’s performance in Dublin’s All-Ireland football triumph over Kerry nudged them all out, a near-flawless first-half display – eight points from nine attempts – sending her county on their way to victory.

Lest ye forget, Tyrrell had already excelled in soccer and rugby, never mind Gaelic football, winning the FAI Cup final with St Catherine’s 12 years ago, in or around the time she was collecting under-16 and under-18 All-Ireland titles with Dublin as a goalkeeper. And then she switched codes to play sevens and 15s rugby for Ireland, the highlight of her contribution to the 2015 Six Nations winning campaign.

She returned to Gaelic football after retiring from rugby in 2021, but her luck was out, her comeback coinciding with a couple of golden years for Meath that followed a Dublin five-in-a-row.

But the 33-year-old resisted throwing in the towel on her dreams of adding a senior All-Ireland medal to her collection, and no one contributed more to their 2023 success, Tyrrell winning the player of the match award for her efforts.

The judging panel is now going for a lie down, while dreaming of a less challenging September.

Previous monthly winners

The awards run from December 2022 to November 2023, inclusive

December Eilish and Roisin Flanagan (athletics). The combined efforts of the Tyrone twins, who finished in 11th and 12th place, helped Ireland to a bronze medal at the European Cross Country Championships in Italy, despite being without Fionnuala McCormack and Ciara Mageean.

January Rhasidat Adeleke (athletics). What a year for the sprinter who only turned 21 at the end of August. Since opening her season with the University of Texas, she set a string of new Irish records, turning professional in time for the World Championships where she finished – agonisingly – fourth in the 400m final. All eyes on Paris 2024.

February Orla Prendergast (cricket). The 20-year-old was named in the T20 World Cup team of the tournament after impressing with both bat and ball for Ireland. And she started a spell with English side Western Storm in style in April, scoring 115 on her debut.

March Rachael Blackmore (horse racing). She’s produced her fair share of special days at Cheltenham over the past few years, but Blackmore riding Honeysuckle to victory at this year’s festival, in the mare’s final race, will live long in the memory.

April Thammy Nguyen (weightlifting). Nguyen made history in Armenia by becoming the first Irish competitor to win a senior medal in the European Weightlifting Championships. She’s now targeting a place in next year’s Olympic Games.

May Lucy Mulhall (rugby). In Toulouse in May, in the final event of the seven-tournament World Series, the Wicklow woman captained the Irish Sevens team to qualification for the Olympic Games by taking fifth place in the overall standings. Mulhall won her 50th cap in the tournament and finished as Ireland’s highest points scorer in the series.

June Leona Maguire (golf). A two-shot victory at the Meijer Classic in Michigan gave Maguire the second LPGA title of her career, helping her break into the world’s top 10 for the first time, making her the first Irish woman to achieve the feat.

July Katie McCabe (soccer). Deep breath: captained Ireland to their first ever World Cup, scored their first ever goal in the tournament and played like the warrior she is through their three games. She was named in the Champions League team of the season and won the WSL goal of the season award. And, to top it all, she became the first Irish woman to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or award.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times