Cllr John McGahon presenting a Civic Award to Kate O Connor and Patience Jumbo Gula for ST Gerards AC
A total of 17 local individuals and groups were honoured at County Hall in Dundalk on Tuesday night at the second annual Municipal District of Dundalk Civic Awards ceremony - with recipients from a wide range of backgrounds including arts, sport, community and charity work.
Dundalk Municipal cathoairleach John McGahon handed out the awards to all of the grateful participants on the night who were honoured in recognition of their outstanding contribution to Dundalk and the wider North Louth community over the years.
Award recipients including marathon runner Colette O'Hagan, musician David 'Jinx' Lennon, youth soccer stalwart Gerry Gover, Louth Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, North Louth Hospice, the last surviving founding member of the Irish Wheelchair Association Oliver Murphy, St Gerard's Athletic Club and opera singer Tara Erraught.
Councillor Emma Coffey pictured with recipient Joe Martin on Tuesday evening
A posthumous civic award was presented to former chairman of Dundalk Tidy Towns Willie Duffy, in recognition of his contribution to enhancing the environment of the town in his role as chairman of the organisation.
Each civic award recipient was nominated by a sitting Dundalk Municipal District councillor, with six councillors nominated the 17 awardees.
Dundalk councillor John McGahon spoke to the crowd, as did Louth County Council chief executive Joan Martin before the awards were handed out.
"We're here to celebrate the contribution you have all made to Dundalk in such a positive way," McGahon said. "I want to say a really big thank you to you individuals and to your families as well. Tonight is about recognising the work that you have done yourselves.
"It is worth it and it means so much to this town. On behalf of the people of Dundalk and of County Louth, we want to say thank you to you for all the work that you do to make our town a better place to live in and a town to be really proud of."
Martin added, "I think this is a marvellous opportunity to recognise acheivement."
Blackrock man Noel Sharkey, himself a recipient of a civic award having been nominated by Fine Gael councillor Maria Doyle, read a piece of poetry called 'Affirmation' while young dancers from Scoil Rince Mona Ni Rodaigh performed for the assembled crowd as the evening drew to a close.
Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat on Tuesday, Independent councillor Maeve Yore said, "I want to recognise ordinary people who do extraordinary things, week in week out on a voluntary basis across our county. I think it’s fabulous achievement. I’m delighted and I want to congratulate all the recipients."
FULL LIST OF NOMINEES
- Collette O'Hagan (nominated by Maeve Yore)
- David 'Jinx' Lennon (nominated by Marianne Butler and Mark Dearey)
- Freda Hearty (nominated by Conor Keelan)
- Gerry Gover (Conor Keelan)
- Joe Martin (Maeve Yore)
- John Murphy (Maeve Yore)
- Josephine Maguire (Maeve Yore)
- Maurice Murphy (Maeve Yore)
- Tim Murphy (Maeve Yore)
- Louth SPCA (Conor Keelan)
- Noel Sharkey (Maria Doyle)
- North Louth Hospice (Peter Savage)
- Oliver Murphy (Maeve Yore)
- Scoil Rince Mona Ni Rodaigh (Maria Doyle)
- St Gerard's Athletic Club (Maria Doyle)
- Tara Erraught (Marianne Butler and Mark Dearey)
- Willie Duffy (RIP) (Marianne Butler and Mark Dearey)
Independent Councillor Maeve Yore with Civic awardee Oliver Murphy