The positive cohesive community contributions of numerous individuals and organisations from Athlone and its environs were recognised at the annual Westmeath County Council Cathaoirleach awards ceremony on Friday night.
Guest speaker at the event was MEP, Mairead McGuinness, who lauded the continuous commitment of community and volunteer groups in the county.
“These groups form the very fabric of the community and the awards are an opportunity to highlight and acknowledge their invaluable work in and for the local community,” Ms. McGuinness remarked.
Numerous awards were presented during the occasion, with Peter Dolan, nominated by Moate Action Group, receiving the prestigious Cathaoirleach accolade, in acknowledgement of the manner in which he continuously strives to improve the quality of life for those within his community.
Nominated by Castledaly GAA, Joe Sheerin, an active member of the community for over 25 years, received the Sports and Recreation award for his dedication to coaching all age groups in the rural village, while Olive Quinn, nominated by Dun na Si Heritage and Amenity Park was awarded the Community Involvement accolade, reflecting her commitment to the recreational facility since the project’s commencement in 2008.
In the Project of the Year category there was due recognition for Athlone Sub Aqua Club who provide a necessary ongoing voluntary service to the community and aspire to build a secure facility beside their clubhouse to store specialised equipment. The group were presented with a cheque for €2,500 towards their endeavours.
The tireless toil of Coosan Mens Shed was recognised in the formal setting when they the members received a cheque for €5,000 in acknowledgement of their community project. Working in tandem with Athlone Municipal District and the local residents association, the group identified and acquired land and a lease from the local authority and have been fundraising with the aim of making their vision a reality for numerous years. When the project comes to fruition, the new facility will host office space and meetings rooms to enable mens shed activities to occur.
Clonbrusk Childcare Athlone were acknowledged in the Eco Pre School awards category, for their promotion of love for the environment as part of the learning facilities outdoor play space, while Ballinahown Tidy Towns committee were honoured for their continued commitment to the up keep and maintenance of a picturesque village setting.
Addressing the awards ceremony, Cllr. John Dolan, Cathaoirleach, Westmeath County Council, noted the vibrant community spirit prevalent in the towns and villages of the county.
“I am grateful to be in a position to acknowledge the community contributions of so many at this awards ceremony. Without the ongoing voluntary work of individuals and groups, our communities would not be in such a healthy and prominent place and I must acknowledge that the tireless efforts of volunteers save the local authority from a financial viewpoint annually,” Cllr. Dolan remarked.
Reflecting on his role as Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Dolan enthused with regard to his endeavours as he travelled to the extremities of the county representing the local authority in a proud official capacity at numerous noteworthy community events.