In what promises to be a momentous occasion, the community of Oughterard is preparing to welcome President Mary McAleese to the village tomorrow, Friday April 1.
The highly anticipated event is part of 2011 being designated ‘The Year of the Volunteer’ by the European Union, of which President McAleese is patron. Oughterard boasts over 30 exemplary voluntary groups and during her time in the village President McAleese will meet with the dedicated volunteers at a special reception being hosted in the Community Centre, Oughterard at 11am.
President McAleese will be welcomed to the village by a delightful musical display performed by children from the local national and secondary schools. An exhibition by the voluntary groups of their works will also be displayed from 9am to 1pm and all are welcome to visit; however, access will be curtailed to the exhibition during the presidential visit from 11am to 11.45 am approximately.
The dedicated voluntary groups in Oughterard range from sporting, and cultural to family/community services and include major projects such as the restoration of the courthouse, and the development of extensive soccer facilities and rugby grounds, while other groups are quietly providing essential services to the community, for example Meals on Wheels and St Vincent de Paul.
“Needless to say, the community of Oughterard is extremely excited about the President’s visit and appreciates the time she is taking to view first hand the wonderful efforts by local voluntary workers, particularly in her last year of office. No doubt it will be a truly memorable and honourable occasion for all involved but in particular the worthy volunteers who give their time so freely for the community of Oughterard,” said Deidre Forde, spokesperson for the event.
Following her visit to Oughterard, Presidnet McAleese will travel to Moycullen and drop in on Scoil Náisiúnta Tuairiní. After that she travels to NUI Galway where she launches the new Prostate Cancer Institute.
Tomorrow afternoon, she will round off her visit when she is presented with the Literary & Debating Society's President’s Medal.