Galway honours its People of the Year

The Galway People of the Year Awards 2020 presentation night which was postponed on a number of occasions due to Covid was finally held last weekend alongside a Gala Banquet and awards presentation in the Galway Bay Hotel.

All the winners were interviewed live on stage by MC Ollie Turner and received their awards for their contribution to various causes including community involvement, sport, charity, farming and agriculture.

Many of the award winners were well known the length and breath of the country, while others were in the spotlight for the very first time. All of them have done their community and their county proud, some have brought joy and light to the lives of people, others have shown true courage and strength in the face of adversity, but all have one thing in common — they all have worked incredibly hard to enrich the lives of others.

Awards were presented to Kevin O’Brien and Kieran Fitzgerald representing players and management to celebrate Corofin’s achievement of being the only club to win three All Ireland club titles in a row.

A joint award also went to Craughwell’s Fintan Rooney and John Cheevers who founded Fun Roast a committee that has raised thousands of Euro for many worthy causes.

Camogie stars

The success of Galway Camogie was also recognised with awards to team captain Sarah Dervan, manager Cathal Murray and secretary Ann Kearney.

Carmen Taheny of BPW Galway also picked up an award for the successful winning and delivery of the prestigious BPW European conference to Galway.

The Galway Blazers fundraising committee are a voluntary committee of 11 members based in Craughwell who have raised well over half a million euro for 22 charities for the past 25 years this has been raised by an end of season hunt without the hounds.

Lilly Considine from Oranmore received her award for over 40 years voluntary dedicated service to the Oranmore community.

Dr Suzanne McClean who co-founded Rosabel’s Rooms in memory of her daughter Rosabel who died suddenly at 18 months. This is a child loss project established in collaboration with the Irish Hospice Foundation and in the first year alone raised a quarter of a million.

Another popular winner was Sean Walsh from Bawnmore, hurling commentator with Galway Bay fm who won his award for his contribution to and promotion of hurling on local radio going back to 1989.

Awardwinner Craig Brown from Halifax Nova Scotia and now living in Ballindereen, set up a chapter of 100 Men Who Give a Damn after his arrival in Galway — the first such chapter in Europe.

Joe Healy from Athenry — the only man to be elected president of both Macra na Feirme and the IFA was another popular and worthy awardwinner for his contribution to Irish agriculture.

Scottish native Valerie Kinsella came from Dublin to Castleblakeney in 1979 and and has been involved in the local community for the past 40 years where she has given selflessly of her time and energy.

In 2009 a small committee of 10 people established the Moylough Defibrillator and First Responder Group to assist the local community in the event of a cardiac arrest. For people living in a rural area this group can be the difference between life and death.

Accolade

Speaking at the function awards, organiser Ollie Robinson described the awards as the highest accolade a person can receive in Galway as all the winners are nominated by members of the public and chosen by an independent committee.

He said that this years awards were organised in partnership with Galway Credit Unions and he thanked them for their support and generosity and also said that funds raised would be presented to Galway Hospice.

He also paid tribute to all the local media for their continued support over the years which ensured nomination came in from every part of the county. He also paid tribute to Mary Bennett and Jack McCann for their support over the years as well as committee members Bridgie Hanley Phil Concannon, Pat Ryan, Tex Callaghan, and the management and staff of the Galway Bay Hotel. He also had words of praise for Keith Finnegan for his tireless help and support over the years and thanked MC Ollie Turner.

During his time with the Rehab Group Ollie Robinson has been organising the awards since 1995 and since retirement on a voluntary basis with this years beneficiary’s Galway Hospice.

In recognition of this, he was taken by complete surprise on the night with a special presentation of Galway Crystal and a deserved standing ovation. Guests on the night were entertained by comedian Frank Ford and the Conquerors.

 

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