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Thurles Credit Union People Of The Year Awards 2009

Thurles Credit Union 'People of the Year' Award

Thurles Credit Union 'People of the Year' Award

Thurles Credit Union presented its annual ‘People of the Year Awards’ at a function in the Anner Hotel on Saturday night last, when a number of people were honoured for their contribution to their local communities on a voluntary level.

Thanks to many nights of careful planning this eagerly awaited annual event has now become  the most prominent award ceremony in Co Tipperay and an interesting facet of this year’s recipients is that they represent seven different locations in Thurles Credit Union’s area of commonality, with Horse & Jockey, Gortnahoe, Littleton, Holycross, Upperchurch, Killenaule and Thurles itself, all represented on the presentation podium.

Among the many guests at the Awards dinner, were President of Thurles Lions Club, Kevin Barry; President of Thurles Chamber, Anne Strappe; Ms Jean O’Sullivan, representing “The Tipperary Star”; Superintendent Tony Cogan of An Garda Siochána, and adjudicators:  Michael Dundon, editor of The Tipperary Star, former Mayor of Thurles, Mae Quinn, and George Willoughby, latter twice a recipient of this award.

Guest of honour, Mayor of Thurles, Evelyn Nevin, commended all the nominees for their input into the town and surrounding areas and to their respective organisations and communities at large.

Mrs Nevin stated:

“Volunteerism is now even more important than ever in our society and Thurles Credit Union is to be highly commended for making so much time and making such financial resources available in an effort to publicly recognise the huge input by unpaid volunteers in their respective communities. It is my sincere hope that the Credit Union will continue to highlight the great work being done by people such as those being honoured here tonight, together with all the associations and organisations they each represent”.

Credit Union Vice President Michael Campbell stated that Thurles Credit Union was delighted to show appreciation for the wonderful work, generosity of spirit, inspiration and dedication shown by all those nominated. The aim of the Awards is to formally recognise people in our communities who work tirelessly to help their neighbours, friends, team mates and other members of their community, whether that community be social, developmental, sporting or environmental. Volunteers are a vital element in the fabric of Irish society.

Mr. Campbell further stated:

“When I read the testimonials of the twelve people nominated tonight, I was not only impressed, but also inspired, encouraged and influenced by your achievements”.

He went on to commended the organising committee and singled out Marketing Officer, Michael Harty, for the tremendous work done in preparing for the event.

The large attendance gave a very warm reception to the twelve nominees, all of whom were present along with family members and friends. They were introduced individually by joint masters of ceremonies, Mr.D. J. Darcy and Mrs. Amanda Ryan, who read the testimonials for each person prior to the announcement of the recipients of the five People of the Year Awards.

Kitty Curran, from Cabra, Thurles, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her on-going contribution to Tipperary Talking Newspapers, an audio service for the blind and visually impaired. She has also made a major contribution over the years to the Guardian Angels Pre-School, to the Parents & Friends of Children with Special Needs, Cabra Workshop, Thurles Brownies and a range of other community organisations.

Kitty Dwyer, Ballyvinane, Littleton, was given an Award for her community involvement over a long number of years through Muintir na Tíre, the I.C.A., the Bereavement Counselling Group and in both of her parish churches. She was described as ‘a perfect model of the unsung hero’.

Pat Buckley, Finnahy, Upperchurch received a Community Award for his untiring work for the Community Development organisation in his parish, and most recently was the driving force in the provision of a childcare facility in Upperchurch. Pat said he was happy to accept the Award as a recognition of the magnificent work being done by a great team.

Darren Hehir from Holycross received the Youth Award for his selfless work on behalf of the Friends of Children and Adults with Special Needs. Although still going to school, Darren is never found wanting when called on to help out, and he is also a volunteer with Thurles Order of Malta.

Well-known Tipperary hurler, Declan Fanning from Killenaule was the recipient of the Sports Award. Declan has played both football and hurling for Tipperary and was described as ‘an excellent ambassador for club and county and a brilliant role model’. In typical unassuming fashion, Declan said he was accepting the award on behalf of all the great workers at all levels in his club in Killenaule.

The other nominees each received specially commissioned mementoes of the occasion. Sean Watts, Knockavardagh, Killenaule, was recognised for his colossal input into the economic and social life of the area through his work with Slieveardagh Rural Development group and a range of other parish activities. Ed Donnelly, Aughnagomaun, Horse and Jockey, former PRO for Tipperary Co. Board GAA, was recognised for changing the face of promotional work at club and county level. Lily Barrett, Main Street, Killenaule, was honoured for her contribution to community life in a variety of roles. Denis Jordan, Tarmon Drive, Thurles, was recognised for nearly forty years service and an enormous contribution to the Order of Malta. Kitty Quinn, Butler Avenue, Thurles, was nominated for a long-time commitment to provision of information on welfare rights and the development of the Citizens Information Service. Cliona O’Dwyer, Mansergh’s Hill, Killenaule, was nominated for a range of sporting achievements, including basketball, ladies football and soccer. Eddie Barnaville, Gortnahoe, although only fourteen years old, has won world silver medals in kick-boxing at which he is also an All-Ireland champion.

Mr. Michael Campbell concluded a most enjoyable evening’s event by expressing his appreciation to all the attendance for their contribution to a marvellous occasion and said the Awards are now an integral part of the Credit Union calendar. He thanked the Editor and staff of “The Tipperary Star” for their unfailing courtesy and assistance, and also the Anner Hotel staff for their excellent facilities.

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