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Winners of Inaugural Mayo County Council's Cathaoirleach's Awards 2021 Announced

Date: 09-03-2022

On Tuesday March 8th, at a community celebration evening in Breaffy House, the thirteen winners of the inaugural Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach’s Awards 2021 were announced. 

Mayo County Council’s new civic awards recognise the dedication and efforts of the many community volunteer groups at work in County Mayo, as they work quietly behind the scenes to make our communities stronger, more vibrant and caring. 

After a public nomination process last autumn, all nominees were invited to the presentation evening, which celebrated their achievements and provided a fitting platform to showcase their incredible work to a wide audience.  

The winners are:

Mayo Publication Award:  Annagh Magazine
Contribution to Local Heritage Award: Old Irish Goat Society
Community Partnership Project Award:  Crossmolina Community Council CLG
Community Social Inclusion Project Award:  Dolmen Clubhouse CLG
Community Tourism Award:  Céide Coast Community CLG
Environmental Community Group of the Year:  Westport Tidy Towns
Young Environmentalist of the Year Award:  Mohammed Naeem
Contribution the Arts in Mayo Award Joint Winners:  Luisne Art Project and Foxford Comhaltas
Contribution to the preservation and promotion of the Irish language (Gaeltacht):  Gaeilge Iorrais
Contribution to the preservation and promotion of the Irish language (non-Gaeltacht Ciorcal Comhrá Chaisleán an Bharraigh
Contribution to Diaspora Wellbeing/Engagement Joint Winners:  Professor John D. Feerick, New York and Mayo Genealogy Group

Cllr Michael Smyth, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council opened the event:  “I am honoured as Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council to host this inaugural Cathaoirleach Awards Ceremony.  Tonight provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge those who represent the best of our County It is important that we recognise the incredible efforts of those people who take the time to improve our communities and make them a better place to be a part of. Unsung heroes are to be found in every town and village in Mayo.  Of all ages and from all backgrounds, they all share one important characteristic: they give freely and generously of their time to make life better for their communities.  Congratulations to all of our nominees this evening.  By getting here you are already a winner”.

Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council welcomed the large attendance to the event outlining:  It is heartening to see so many community groups and volunteers here this evening from all corners of the County and Mayo County Council is delighted to be hosting this inaugural Cathaoirleach Awards ceremony. As you know County Mayo has a rich tradition of voluntary activity which is going from strength to strength.  Congratulations to those who have received an award tonight and to all of you, thank you, for your hard work over the years.  Volunteering is at the heart of community life and helping others and giving time to your community, while a big commitment, can be a very rewarding experience.  The value of volunteering cannot be measured but tonight we try to at least acknowledge those that give up so much of their time for their community.  It is worth noting that Mayo’s Public Participation Network has an active database of over 1000 community & voluntary groups from across the county.  

The Cathaoirleach, Councillors and staff of Mayo County Council are committed to supporting voluntary activity and we will continue to work with community groups and volunteers in every way that we can.  We value your knowledge and experience and I firmly believe that working together produces the best results.  County Mayo certainly holds its own as a great County in which to work, live and enjoy life.  As volunteers, you can all be very proud of what you do and the valuable contribution you make towards making Mayo a better place”.

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