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Tipperary’s ‘Flying Nun’ Is ‘Volunteer of the Year’

Most of us have heard of “The Flying Doctor” working in the vast, remote interior of Australia; but now meet the “The Flying Nun”, who works in South Tipperary’s vast, remote, rural, disadvantaged interior, known as Slieveardagh.

I speak of course of Sister Patricia Wall who, following her retirement as a school principal more than 20 years ago, has since set up three organisations to support the Slieveardagh community, latter situated close to the Tipperary-Kilkenny border.

Since 1996 Sr. Patricia has dedicated her life to volunteering and to community work within the area of Slieveardagh; going above and beyond the call of duty in many cases to secure funding for projects in her area and helping community groups with what could be regarded as red tape, time consuming paper work and necessary applications, which in turn has led to many community projects, having been funded and developed.

Known as “The Flying Nun”, Sr. Patricia some 5 years ago skydived 10,000 ft. from a plane to celebrate her 75th birthday; her purpose to raise much needed funds for AWARE, latter a worthy ‘depression support charity’ which remains very close to her heart. Now 80 years old, she continues to volunteers every day of the week, giving and supporting as many of her adopted volunteer groups as she can within a most appreciative Slieveardagh community.

Yesterday Sr. Patricia was named, not surprisingly and most deservedly, “Volunteer of the Year”, at the Volunteer Ireland Awards.

“Volunteers are the backbone of communities across Ireland,” said Volunteer Ireland CEO Nina Arwitz. “Sr. Patricia exemplifies everything that is wonderful about the spirit of volunteering in Ireland, from her high adrenaline sky diving to her long-term commitment to the local community.”

Congratulations Sr. Patricia and every good wish.

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