In the hope of attracting some positive publicity for Mullingar, a local councillor is proposing the introduction of an annual award to honour a person from Mullingar or its environs who has achieved national or international success.
Cllr Aidan Davitt said such an award would help raise the profile of the town and entice more people to visit Mullingar, and said similar awards in other towns such as New Ross in County Wexford had proven successful.
“We already have an address of recognition, but maybe we could look on a yearly basis and award someone of international merit who has achieved something great. I feel we could get a lot of press out of it; if we are able to associate high profile people with the town, people would feel, why not come to Mullingar for a weekend?”
He suggested it would be separate to the ‘Person of the year’ award which forms part of the annual Cathaoirleach’s Awards.
Cllr Ken Glynn supported the call, saying one only had to look at the council’s addresses of recognition to tennis coach Garry Cahill last week as an example of people from the town who had found success on an international scale. He also paid tribute to former Blizzards frontman Bressie, who is enjoying TVsuccess as a coach on RTE’s The Voice.
“Another person who is very prominent, and we have honoured him and his band, is Bressie. The Voice is doing very well in the ratings. Looking at the quality of the judges, it is a fantastic achievement for Bressie and for his family.
“I think we should write to Bressie and congratulate him. His album went to number one in iTunes, this is a significant achievement We should be talking about our own. The Olympics are also coming up and we have medal hopes there.
“When One Direction did well in the X Factor, Mullingar was all over the newspapers. It put Mullingar on the map,” he added.
While Cllr Mick Dollard expressed disappointment that the council hadn’t been able to officially recognise Niall’s achievements yet, Cllr Detty Cornally noted “It’s more famous he’ll become in the next few years”.