One of Tramore’s most popular ever sporting sons was given a civic reception by the local Town Council on Tuesday night last.
Golfer Michael Burns received the award in recognition of his contribution to the sport over almost four decades, first as a top player and latterly as Captain of Ireland’s back-to-back winners of the European Amateur Team Championship in ’07 and ’08 and also of the Home International Championship last year.
In a show of warm affection for a man they clearly hold in the highest regard, Tramore Golf Club’s officers and nearly a hundred of its members attended the function, along with his family, in the town’s civic offices.
They heard Deputy Mayor Pat O’Callaghan (in the absence of ‘flu’ stricken Mayor Raymond Hayden) list his achievements and outline the contribution he has made to the sport through the years.
Michael, a long time senior international and an honorary
member at Tramore, played Senior Cup with the club for all of 37 years up to 2007, memorably winning the All-Ireland double – Senior Cup and Barton Shield – in 1992 and the latter again in 1994.
He played for Ireland in the 1970s and ’80s and was a member of the team which won the Home Internationals at Portmarnock in 1983. He was first reserve on a European team in 1975.
Winner of the Irish Open Strokeplay Championship at Portmarnock in 1976, he played no less than 86 inter-provincial matches with Munster and won the South of Ireland Championship in 1980. He was runner-up in the same competition in 1983 and in the East of Ireland in 1974. He won 9 Senior Scratch Cups at various venues.
He captained Munster Youths in 1998, became an Irish senior selector the following year and in 2006 was appointed Irish Captain for a three year term which, as already outlined, proved hugely successful.
He was honoured with the Captaincy of Tramore Golf Club in its centenary year of 1994 and served on the club’s committee for eight years during which he also made a major contribution as a member of several committees, dedicating a lot of time to the development of youth golf.
Club Captain Mossy Power and Lady Captain Irene O’Reilly paid glowing tributes to Michael not alone for the honour he has brought to his club, to Tramore and to the sport, but also for the fact that he remained totally grounded and self-effacing through all the glory.
In response, Michael thanked the Deputy Mayor and the Town Council for honouring him in a manner which he said he would treasure for the rest of his days.
He thanked his wife Mary and children Nicola, Derek and Claire for their support and Tramore Golf Club and its members for all the backing and the enjoyment they provided him with down the years. And he expressed the hope that his club would host more major championships in the future.
Finally, in tribute to the international players he captained, he said success would not have come Ireland’s way without their talent, total dedication and commitment to the cause. For that he thanked them.