One of Mullingar's favourite sons, the late Joe Dolan, was posthumously awarded a People of the Year award at a glittering ceremony at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin, at the weekend.
The award was for Joe Dolan's unique contribution to the development of Ireland's music scene, and for all his achievements as one of the country's greatest ever performers. From the Mullingar man's humble beginnings in the showband circuit, he became a legendary figure in Irish musical entertainment and a true cultural icon, bringing joy to millions of people both in Ireland and overseas.
Ben Dolan accepted the award from singer Daniel O'Donnell. He noted, “Joe was one of Ireland's greatest musical ambassadors, who despite worldwide success never forgot his Westmeath roots. He was a fantastic showman, with an amazingly loyal legion of fans in Ireland and abroad”. He continued, “We'll miss his stage presence, we'll miss his great voice, but most of all we'll miss the man himself.”
Sponsored by Quinn Healthcare and organised by Rehab, the People of the Year Awards provide a unique opportunity for the Irish public to honour outstanding contributions made by individuals and organisations to life in Ireland.
The awards ceremony was presented by RTE personality Grainne Seoige for the second year in a row. Other award winners were Ireland's Olympic medal winning boxers, Kenny Egan, Darren Sutherland, and Paddy Barnes; Nuala O'Loan, former Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman; Fr Shay Cullen, who campaigns against the sex industry in the Phillippines; Scouting Ireland; Robert O' Loughlin; Ronan Hayes; Orla Tinsley; and Rose Ui Shuilleabhain.