The very best of what Ardee and Mid-Louth has to offer gathered in County Hall in Dundalk on Thursday last for the first ever Ardee Mid-Louth Municipal District Civic Awards.
Cathaoirleach Liam Reilly was on hand to present all of the awardees with their acknowledgements of the acheivements which add so much to life in Louth, outside of the big towns.
Among those honoured at the special night were Ardee Community School's All-Ireland C Championship winning GAA team and Dromiskin Tidy Towns, a group which included former Dundalk Democrat journalist Gene Yore.
Those two were nominated by Dolores Minogue and Reilly respectively, while the four other local councillors also honoured people in the locality.
Pat Roddy was nominated by Sinn Fein's Pearse McGeough, in recognition of his voluntary service to the community and enhancing the local environment.
The late Mal Reilly was recognised for a remarkable and inspirational life battling cystic fibrosis and raising awareness and funds for cystic fibrosis services. He was nominated by Colm Markey and Mal's sister Hillary accepted the posthumous award on his behalf.
Meanwhile, Clogherhead Development Group's Oliver Kirwan was nominated by Tom Cunningham and the former chairman of Ardee Tidy Towns, Brendan Matthews, was put forward by Ardee based councillor Jim Tenanty.
16 members of the Ardee Community School team attended the award ceremony in Dundalk, alongside principal Mary Jackson, vice-principals Pauline Duffy and Tony Corcoran and team management Antony Durnin and Shane McConnon.
Speaking at the event last Thursday, Liam Reilly praised the efforts of all involved.
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy,” he said. “When you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”
He spoke of Ardee Community School's “team effort, resiliance and dedication” in their run to unprecedented success while he described Castlebellingham's Pat Roddy as “conscientious” “driven” and a “force to be reckoned with.”
Talking about the late Mal Reilly who passed away in February of this year aged just 38, the councillor said, “Dunleer is a better place for the contribution bestowed upon it by Mal.
“Never shying away, Mal acheived so much in his short 38 years.”