Rehab Mayo People of the Year Awards 2018 – Meet the Winners

Posted in Connect on November 23, 2018.


Ahead of the 2018 Mayo People of the Year Awards, organised annually by Mayo RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph, we will feature each of our Award Winners daily right up until the big night. The 26th Annual Mayo People of the Year Awards takes place on Friday 23rd of November at Breaffy House Resort. Tickets for the event are now available from Edel Cadden, RehabCare, Breaffy Road, Castlebar.


Our Winners:

Sean Horkan – Hall of Fame Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to Sean Horkan on his Hall of Fame Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Sean has given a lifetime of dedication, service and commitment to the sport of boxing on the local, national and international stage.

Sean was the manager of the Irish team at the European Boxing championships in Budapest in 1987, an official judge for Irish teams to Germany, USA, Sweden, Holland and many more, and most famously was the manager of the Irish boxing team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics when they won a gold and silver medal.

Castlebar Boxing Club has always been to the forefront for Sean, however, and he won a national title with his hometown club back in 1956.

He was a leading player in the purchase and development of the boxing gym on The Mall in the early 1970s and also played a role in the recent development of the Boxing Centre of Excellence at Lough Lannagh, which has hosted the Indian and Irish international teams.

Boxing is not all Sean is known for, however, as he is also a successful businessman known for Horkan’s Garden Centre which is now based in Turlough.

He is also a former chairman of the Castlebar Urban Council, chairman of Castlebar Chamber of Commerce and was director of the Castlebar International Song Contest.

In 2013 Sean was awarded the prestigious Freedom of Castlebar award.

  • Former Castlebar Mayor Brendan Heneghan (RIP) and Marie Crowley, Mayo County Council, presenting Sean Horkan with the Freedom of Castlebar in 2013

 

Oonagh Bean Uí Shúilleabháin (Ní Chéileachair) – Gradam Na Gaeilge Award

It is with great pride and admiration that Mayo County Council bring to your attention that our colleague and dear friend Oonagh Bean Uí Shúilleabháin

(Ní Chéileachair) R.I.P. is being awarded the Gradam Na Gaeilge Award posthumously as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Oonagh joined Mayo County Council in 2008 taking up the position as Oifigeach na Gaeilge.  Oonagh a wonderful, kind and generous lady, worked tirelessly for communities and for the Irish language both in Mayo and further afield. Prior to her untimely passing in 2017 Oonagh made striking contributions to the promotion of the language. She was a well-known figure through her work over her years with the council, having a huge influence on the promotion of the Irish language and the creation of a greater awareness of the importance of the Irish language, and Irish culture in the county in general.

Oonagh played a major part in creating a link between the Mayo Gaeltachts and the North American Gaeltacht situated in Tamworth, Ontario, Canada.

Over the past number of years Mayo County Council, and The North American Gaeltacht, give an opportunity to 2 Gaeilgeoirí from or living in Mayo to work in Canada as a teacher for a week as part of their Summer course, with all travel and accommodation provided.

Oonagh also played a major role in the organising of the Gathering in 2013 when more than 20 people came to visit Mayo from the Gaeltacht in Canada.

As always, Oonagh worked tirelessy to ensure that the event would be a success and enjoyed by all, which it most assuredly was.

Oonagh’s name has become synonymous with enthusiasm for the Irish Language and her contribution to it will be felt in Mayo for many years to come.

Suaimhneas síoraí ar d’anam uasal i measc na naomh ar neamh.

Is le bród agus ómós ar mian le Comhairle Contae Mhaigh Eo a chur in iúl daoibh go bhfuil Gradam na Gaeilge á bhronnadh, tar éis a báis, ar ár gcomhghleacaí agus ár ndlúthchara Oonagh Bean Uí Shúilleabháin (Ní Chéileachair), suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam. Tá an gradam seo mar chuid de Ghradaim Rehab do Phearsana Mhaigh Eo na Bliana 2018 i gcomhar le RehabCare, Comhairle Contae Mhaigh Eo agus The Connaught Telegraph.

 Thosaigh Oonagh ag obair le Comhairle Contae Mhaigh Eo in 2008 mar Oifigeach na Gaeilge. Bean aoibhinn, chineálta, fhial a bhí inti a d’oibrigh go dícheallach ar son pobal agus ar son na Gaeilge i Maigh Eo agus níos faide i gcéin. Rinne sí éachtaí móra i gcur chun cinn na teanga sula bhfuair sí bás anabaí in 2017. Bhí an-cháil uirthi mar gheall ar an obair a rinne sí le linn a cuid blianta sa Chomhairle agus d’imir sí tionchar mór ar chur chun cinn na Gaeilge agus ar fheasacht a ardú maidir le tábhacht na teanga agus an chultúir Ghaelaigh i gcoitinne.

Tá a cion féin déanta aici i naisc a chruthú idir Gaeltachtaí Mhaigh Eo agus Gaeltachtaí Thuaisceart an Oileáin Úir in Tamworth, Ontario, Ceanada. Le blianta beaga anuas tugann Comhairle Contae Mhaigh Eo agus Gaeltacht Thuaisceart an Oileáin Úir deis do bheirt chainteoirí Gaeilge de bhunadh Mhaigh Eo nó ina gcónaí ann deis Gaeilge a mhúineadh i gCeanada ar feadh seachtaine mar chuid dá gcúrsa samhraidh, le costais taistil agus lóistín curtha ar fáil dóibh.

Bhí dlúthbhaint ag Oonagh le Tóstál 2013 a eagrú nuair a thug breis is 20 duine cuairt ar Mhaigh Eo ó Ghaeltacht Cheanada. Mar ba ghnáth, d’oibrigh Oonagh gan stad gan staonadh le déanamh cinnte go n-éireodh go maith leis an imeacht agus go mbainfeadh gach duine taitneamh as.  Agus, ar ndóigh, d’éirigh thar barr léi an dá sprioc sin a bhaint amach.

Tá ardcháil ar Oonagh mar dhíograiseoir Gaeilge agus beidh torthaí a cuid saothair le brath i Maigh Eo go ceann tamall fada amach anseo.

Suaimhneas síoraí ar d’anam uasal i measc na naomh ar neamh.


Kaya Jelinaka – Special Merit Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer its congratulations to Kaya Jelinaka on receiving the Special Merit Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Kaya’s story is an inspirational one. Despite being born prematurely at only 24 weeks and three days, weighing just 800 grams, Kaya has defied medical expectations.

The nine year old Castlebar native, of Polish origin, has overcome enormous barriers in her life since then. At just four weeks, weighing just one kilogram, Kaya underwent heart surgery to close a septum in her heart.

Another hole in her heart closed by itself before her fourth birthday and she underwent emergency laser eye surgery at Temple Street Eye Clinic at a very young age in order to save her eyesight, which is now almost perfect for her age.

Kaya has a hearing disability but has still continued to reach milestone after milestone in her young life, recognising her Polish heritage and culture as well as sending a message of hope to the wider community.

Kaya is the first winner of polish Origin at the Mayo People of the Year awards and her constant bravery, assistance towards others and offering of hope to all means it is well deserved.

The Polish Embassy in Dublin have sent their congratulations to Kaya and offered their best wishes on receiving the Special Merit Award.

  • Award winner Kaya Jelinaka with extended family and Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Blackie Gavin

Ardagh Foroige Club – Youth Club of the Year

Mayo County Council would like to offer its congratulations to the Ardagh Foroige Club on receiving the Youth Club of the Year Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

The Ardagh Foroige Club was founded in 1987 and each year has the express mission to raise funds for Ballina Hospital.

The founding members discovered over the first years the improvements that were needed at the hospitsl by talking to staff and visiting patients there and with that information they decided fundraising would be needed and they would carry it out themselves.

Focusing on Christmas every year, the Foroige Group found out that if patients at the hospital received a present on Christmas morning it would really lift their spirits. Year round visits from Foroige members has also been known to boost patients who had no visitors and had nothing to do during the day.

The hospital manager, Marie Alexandre, told The Connaught Telegraph that “one man who, when he received a present of a pair of socks, began to cry as he had never received a present before in his life.”

In recent years the Foroige Group began looking at the specific needs of the patients at the hospital and began a fundraising drive in the form of a bedpush. This raised over €2,200 and the group were able to purchase four tables for over-beds in the ladies wards, three fold up beds, three microwaves, three toasters as well as tableware and cutlery for the three family rooms.

For their selfless work they collected an Aldi silver star award for their project helping the local hospital and can now deservedly add Youth Club of the Year in Mayo to their mantle.

  • Claire Gavigan, Foróige Area Manager and Sinead Donovan, Aldi Ireland, present Aibhe Kelly and Sean Finan, Ardagh Foróige Club with a silver star award for their project helping the local hospital

Marita Murtagh – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer its congratulations to Marita Murtagh on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Marita has won an award for her dedication to the children and young adults of Mayo with dyslexia.

Marita has worked for years, spending her evenings and weekends working with those who have dyslexia.

Marita was nominated by Mary Corcoran, a mother of four children with dyslexia, who said that without Marita’s support and guidance her children’s achievements would have fallen far short of their true expectations.

Through the workshops ran by Marita Murtagh in Davitt College hundreds of children with dyslexia around the county have seen their self-esteem and confidance grow as they develop new skills.

It is not only through teaching that Marita has made an impact on those with dyslexia, she has also raised thousands of euro for the Mayo branch of Dyslexia Ireland to ensure that the support for those with dyslexia will be there.

By putting others ahead of herself and showing great determination and pride in her work Marita is a worthy winner of this year’s award.

  • Marita Murtagh pictured alongside Bernard Hughes (Connaught Telegraph), Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Blackie Gavin, and Neil Sheridan (Mayo County Council)

Sheila Moffatt – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to Sheila Moffatt on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

An Irish Dancing teacher, Sheila recognised early on when her pupils had outstanding abilities. This led to her setting up Atlantic Rhythm, an enthusiastic group of traditional musicians, singers and dancers.

Through Sheila’s hard work and leadership her dance troop has visited many locations in Mayo, Ireland and internationally in order to enterain the Irish Diaspora across the world.

She has led her troop to many prestigious venues, including Dail Eireann, Knock Basilica and the All-Ireland Fleadh Ceoil.

Not alone is Sheila renowned for her work with Atlantic Rhythm, she also fundraises for many worthy causes such as Special Olympics Ireland, Mayo Roscommon Hospice, Chernobyl Children and Jack’s Wish to Walk.

As one of the most unselfish people in Mayo Sheila Moffatt has done it all for other people and can now be proudly recognised as a Mayo Person of the Year.

  • Sheila Moffatt alongside family members, Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Blackie Gavin and Bernard Hughes (Connaught Telegraph)

Coláiste Uisce – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to Ciarán Ó Murchú and Coláiste Uisce on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Ciarán Ó Murchú set up Coláiste Uisce in Elly Bay on the Mullet Peninsula in 1992. Ciarán was an established pilot in the Irish Air Corps but in 2000 he and his wife Máire moved from Dublin to the West to run the Gaeltacht school full-time.

Coláiste Uisce is like no other Irish language college in Ireland, it is an activity-based college and adventure centre which is situated in the heart of Mayo’s Gaeltacht.

At Coláiste Uisce the teaching of Irish is intertwined with the enjoyable experience of modern exhilarating adventure and water sports. Students at Coláiste Uisce undertake activities such as diving, swimming, sailing, surfing and Stand Up Paddling.

A massive renovation took place in 2014 to develop the existing site and buildings and they now house a state of the art centre with 30 bedrooms, four classrooms, a large professional kitchen as well as dining and changing rooms.

Unlike many Irish language colleges, Uisce provides more than just summer Irish language courses. Throughout the year there are courses available for exams, student teachers, youth leadership and more.

Ciarán Ó Murchú has 15 full-time staff employed at the college, 10 part-time and a further 134 seasonal staff bring the total to 159 people employed at Coláiste Uisce every year, employing more staff per student than any other Irish College, adventure centre or language college in Ireland to ensure the highest standard of supervision and care for your child.

 

Ba mhaith le Comhairle Contae Mhaigh Eo comhghairdeas a ghabháil le Ciarán Ó Murchú agus Coláiste UISCE agus iad tar éis Gradam Pobail a fháil mar chuid de Ghradaim Rehab do Phearsana na Bliana Mhaigh Eo 2018, i gcomhar le RehabCare, Comhairle Contae Mhaigh Eo agus The Connaught Telegraph.

Bhunaigh Ciarán Ó Murchú Coláiste UISCE ag Cuan Oilí ar leithinis an Mhuirthead in 1992. Ba phíolóta cruthaithe é in Aerchór na hÉireann ach sa bhliain 2000, bhog sé féin agus a bhean chéile Máire siar ó Bhaile Átha Cliath leis an Choláiste Gaeltachta a reáchtáil ar bhonn lánaimseartha.

Níl Coláiste Gaeilge ar bith eile in Éirinn inchurtha le Coláiste UISCE – coláiste gníomhaíochtbhunaithe agus ionad eachtraíochta atá ann, suite i gcroílár Ghaeltacht Mhaigh Eo.

I gColáiste UISCE, tá múineadh na Gaeilge fite fuaite le heispéireas sultmhar na heachtraíochta spreagúla, nua-aimseartha agus an spóirt uisce. Tugann mic léinn faoi ghníomhaíochtaí éagsúla, snámh, seoltóireacht, tonnmharcaíocht agus seaschéaslóireacht ina measc.

Rinneadh athchóiriú ollmhór ar an áit in 2014 leis an suíomh agus na foirgnimh a bhí ann a fhorbairt agus anois, ionad den chéad scoth atá ann ina bhfuil 30 seomra codlata, ceithre sheomra ranga, cistin mhór don fhoireann le cois seomraí bia agus seomraí feistis.

Murab ionann agus go leor coláistí Gaeilge, cuireann UISCE níos mó ná cúrsaí Gaeilge samhraidh ar fáil. Le linn na bliana, reáchtáiltear cúrsaí dírithe ar scrúduithe, cúrsaí d’ábhar múinteoirí, cúrsaí ceannaireachta agus go leor eile.

Tá 15 fostaithe go lánaimseartha ag Ciarán Ó Murchú sa choláiste, 10 fostaithe go páirtaimseartha agus foireann 134 fostaithe go séasúrach – sin 159 duine san iomlán fostaithe ag Coláiste Uisce sa bhliain, rud a fhágann go bhfuil líon níos airde foirne in aghaidh an mhic léinn fostaithe ann ná mar atá ag Coláiste Gaeilge, ionad eachtraíochta nó coláiste teanga ar bith eile in Éirinn agus a chinntíonn ardchaighdeán maoirseachta agus cúraim do do pháiste.


Claremorris Colts RFC – Sports Club of the Year Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to Claremorris Colts RFC and it’s founding members on receiving the Sports Club of the Year Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Claremorris is blessed with top class leisure facilities and associated clubs that provide hours of pleasure, exercise and entertainment for all ages. The formation of the Claremorris Colts Rugby Football Club in 2009 is the latest cog in the wheel of the fantastic community spirit that reverberates throughout the South Mayo town and its environs.

While Claremorris Colts RFC is the newest Rugby Club in Connaught, there has always been an interest in the oval ball sport in the area with a number of locals playing for clubs around the country and beyond as well as at all school levels.

Gardai based in the town were also involved playing for their team squad over the years.

With an annual membership level touching 300, the club caters from minis, to youths and a Junior team that competes in the Connaught League. Success on the playing fields has been achieved with Connaught League, Cup and Plate trophies won, together with hard fought titles on tour at the annual Welsh Rugby Festival.

Claremorris Colts RFC is delivering on its ambitious plans for the future both short and long term. Presently, the new pitch developments at the Old Racecourse, consisting of a main playing pitch and two training pitches are due to be up and running early in the New Year.

At the beginning of last season the Connaught Rugby squad and management came to Claremorris for a pre-season session, the occasion was warmly received, resulting in a most memorable day in the short history of the club, with much more big days and nights ahead.

The energy, enthusiasm and effort, of the founding members, Fergal Leonard, Andy Maxwell and Eddie McLoughlin is no doubt appreciated by everyone at Claremorris Colts as they claim the Sports Club of the Year award.

  • Claremorris Colts pictures with players from Connaught Rugby

Dublin2Mayo Tractor Run Committee – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer its congratulations to the Dublin2Mayo Tractor Run Committee, on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

In October of 2017 a small group of friends from Swinford, Kiltimagh, Kilkelly and Bohola came together to come up with ideas of how to fundraise for the special care babies unit at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar, and the Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Dublin.

Out of that original coming together a committee was formed and the idea of a tractor run between Dublin and Mayo was born with the aim of raising €10,000.

What began as a committee of six expanded to include 45 people who offered up their time to help organise and take part in the event.

On Good Friday, March 30 2018, the group set out from the Phoenix Park in Dublin with a massive number of tractors in tow. They travelled through Leixlip, Maynooth, Kilcock, Enfield, Mother Hubbard’s, Clonard, Kinnegad, Miltownpass, Mullingar and Rathowen, where they spent the night.

On the second day of the run, the journey took them through Lanesborough, Roscommon, Ballymoe, Castlerea, Ballinlough, Ballyhaunis, Claremorris, Knock, Kiltimagh and Bohola, before the run came to an end in Castlebar.

The two-day drive saw the group surpass their original goal with a whopping €48,000 being raised for each of the two special care babies units in Mayo and Dublin.

The run is expected to take place again in 2019 with the group confirming they have brought the National Rehab Hospital in Dublin and Mullingar Children’s & Paediatric units on board alongside the children’s and special babies care unit at Mayo University Hospital.

  • Committee of the Dublin2Mayo Tractor Run alongside Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Blackie Gavin, Edel Cadden, RehabCare, and Cllr Martin McLoughlin

Le Cheile FRC – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer its congratulations to the Le Cheile Centre, Castlebar, on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Established in 2008, the Castlebar Le Cheile Family Resource Centre has done outstanding work and contributed greatly to the community, families and individuals over the past decade.

With just two full time staff, along with three part time staff on Community Employment/TÚS schemes the centre has continuously gone from strength to strength in increasing its target groups, community and family support services as well as it’s drop-in services.

The Le Cheile Centre currently runs more than 20 projects while they also deliver a number of educational courses, social network supports and have recently anchored a community-based family support project in the Erris region.

Other services provided in the Le Cheile Center include ‘Parent & Toddler Groups’, the collection & distribution of surplus food from Tesco and Lidl, a family support drop-in clinic and a drug & alcohol family support project.

Over the last ten years the Castlebar Le Cheile Family Resource Centre has provided an important function for the town and the wider county.

  • Anne Conway-Walsh, Mary Malone and Anne Ryan from the Castlebar Le Cheile FRC, with Edel Cadden, Bernard Hughes, Neil Sheridan, Cllr Blackie Gavin and Tom Gillespie

Steve Dunford – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to Steve Dunford on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Steve is one of the leading lights in Mayo when it comes to showing true commitment to raising awareness of the cultural history and education in the county.

Steve’s fingerprints are all over numerous living history events in Co Mayo. These are events where people come together to bring historical events to life and allow people the opportunity to see, hear and smell the likes of canon fire and gunshots as well as give life to the period.

He is one of the leading forces behind ‘In Humbert’s Footsteps’, a group dedicated to remembering the events of 1798. They have organised a number of Humbert memorial events across Mayo since their inception, working with re-enactors from Ireland, France and the UK in order to bring history to life.

Some of the biggest events Steve has been involved in include ‘The March on Castlebar’ as part of The Gathering in 2013 and the recent 220th anniversary of Humbert’s Invasion held in Ballina.

As part of these events the specialist re-enactors descend on towns in Mayo in full period military dress with arms and engage with people, sharing their knowledge and passion for history.

Steve has also been a driving force behind raising the profile of Franco-Irish relations and promotes ‘French Mayo’ through the French Embassy. He was awarded a special medal from the French Government for his role.

  • Steve Dunford receiving a special medal from the French government for his role in Franco-Irish relations

John Niland – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer its congratulations to John Niland on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

The Castlebar native has spent many years giving of his own time to raise funds for charities through different physical ventures, mainly cycling, across Ireland.

In 2015, John participated the tough Turf Warrior obstacle course with all money raised going to the Irish Premature babies’ charity.

Between 2016 and 2017, John raised funds for Epilepsy Ireland through cycling events and was featured on the front cover of the Epilepsy Ireland magazine in the Spring of 2017.

Earlier year he joined the Swinford Cruisers as part of their charity cycle between Swinford and Achill to raise funds for the RNLI Achill Branch and he also raised €2,000 for breast cancer research through cycling and a barbecue.

In his latest fundraising venture John cycled 650km from Malin Head to Mizen Head in just five days. Raising over €9,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.

No doubt there are more fundraising projects in the pipeline for John who has proven himself over the past few years to be one of the most unselfish people when it comes to raising funds for charity.

  • John Niland and Friends at Malin Head

Brendan Mellett – Business Community Liason Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer its congratulations to Brendan Mellett on receiving the Business Community Liaison Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Over the course of the last eight years Brendan Mellett, a qualified electrician from Claremorris, has become a household name in the area thanks to his company BM Electrical.

Since setting up in 2010, when Brendan was just 24 years old, Brendan Mellett Electrical has grown to employ 65 employees in Mayo, Galway and Dublin and has another 32 on their books in the Scandinavian country Denmark.

A big part of what makes BM Electrical, and Brendan himself, a special part of the Claremorris community is the massive focus put on career development and apprenticeships of his staff. Currently there are 16 BM Electrical employees enrolled with SOLAS.

It’s not just through employment that Brendan gives back to the community in Claremorris. BM electrical are also big contributors to local organisations such as the Men’s Shed, sponsors of both Claremorris GAA and Claremorris Colts Rugby Club, and Brendan himself was also involved in the Cannonball Run which raised thousands of euro for charities when it was held in the South Mayo town.

  • Brendan Mellett (Left) presenting Claremorris Colts Rugby Club with sponsored gear.

Claremorris Agriculture Show Committee – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer its congratulations to the Committee of the Claremorris Agricultural Show on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

On Sunday, August 5, of this year the Claremorris Agricultural Show celebrated its 100th anniversary.

A huge effort was made in advance of the milestone event by the organising committee, who left no stone unturned in ensuring the best possible day out.

They envisioned hosting one of the biggest shows the South Mayo town had ever seen and began by piecing together the history of the show, which was made available in a book of memories covering the century of the event, in order to ensure the history of the show was on display.

A core committee of up to 35 members, led by chairperson Gerry Lynch, met on average three times a month in the lead up to last August’s big day and more than 100 locals were delegated to help out on the weekend of the show itself.

Officially opened by Minister Michael Ring, show day proved to be a massive success as thousands of people from across the county, and beyond, convened on the showgrounds on the outskirts of Claremorris town.

2018 was not the 100th edition of the show, events such as Foot & Mouth and World Wars meant there have been years with no show at all, but the idea of the Claremorris Agricultural Show was always carried forward and hosted again at the earliest opportunity.

It is with thanks to people like those involved in the 100th anniversary celebrations, many of whom are no doubt already working behind the scenes to ensure the 101st anniversary will be just as big and successful, that the Claremorris show continues to go from strength to strength.

  • Members of the Claremorris Agricultural Show organising committee alongside Mayo Cathaoirleach Blackie Gavin, Neil Sheridan (Mayo Co Co) and Edel Cannon (Rehab Mayo)

Martin Maloney – Mayo Diaspora Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to Martin Maloney on receiving the Mayo Diaspora Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

At the age of 14 Martin emigrated from Pullathomas, Belmullet, to England with no family support across the sea but a year later had started work as a bricklayer.

He went on to start his own business, twice, and is now a director of the Toureen Group Construction company in Wealdstone.

Over the years Martin has been a huge creator of jobs for young Irish people in the area and has been involved in many charities as well as holding the role of ambassador for the Irish community in Luton.

He is also the current president of the Mayo Association in Luton and was a driving force in attracting over 250 people for their Mayo Day celebrations earlier this year.

The primary objective of the establishment of the Mayo Association Luton was to help migrants from the county to establish their presence and identity in Luton and to help each other out both personally and professionally and Martin has been a mainstay for many years.

The Claddagh Gaels LGFC is another association close to Martin’s heart, he has been their main sponsor since it’s inception in 2009, is keen to see youth development as well as general club development and he even organised for a team trip to his home county of Mayo in 2014.

Martin supports The Claddagh Gaels committee by sitting in on meetings and constantly looking for ways to support the team

Martin is also former winner of the Erris Exile of the Year award for all the work he does in Luton/London communities and charities.

  • Pictured is Martin Maloney with family members.

Castlebar St. Patrick’s Day Committee – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to the former Castlebar St. Patrick’s Day committee on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most important days on the calendar of any community across Mayo and Ireland and Castlebar is no different.

For more than four decades a group of dedicated people came together on a voluntary basis to plan, organise and run the memorable event in the county town.

The likes of Des King, Ger Deere, Johnny Mee, Margaret Walsh, Gertie Lohan and Paul Ainsworth, to name but a few, gave their heart and soul to ensuring Castlebar experienced the best possible St. Patrick’s Day.

Much of their hard work and organisational time goes largely unnoticed and for many involved that is the way they liked it. Keeping themselves out of the limelight in favour of letting a successful parade do the talking for them.

The committee was unfortunately forced to disband in the early part of 2018 due to other commitments but such is their commitment to the success of Castlebar’s St. Patrick’s Day parade they have always made themselves available to help out and guide the new organisers.

  • Members of the former Castlebar St. Patrick’s Day Committee being honoured at this year’s Rehab People of the Year awards

Sara McFadden & Jack Cronin – Joint Young People of the Year

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to Sara McFadden and Jack Cronin, joint winners of the Young Person of the Year award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

17 year old Sara has been visually impaired since birth but has not let that get in the way of fulfilling her dreams.

The Turlough native has excelled in numerous sports, including Gaelic Football, Rugby, Soccer and Camogie, for which she won an All-Ireland silver medal.

The Davitt College student, who is planning to study PE in college next year, is following in her parent’s rallying footsteps and was recently accepted by Motorsport Ireland to become Ireland’s first visually impaired navigator for tarmac rally.

Ballina native Jack Cronin proved his determination and self-belief at the age of just 12 when he set up to Kilmoremoy Kids Drama Group while still a sixth class student at Culleens National School in 2016.

The drama group, which is for kids aged between six and 14, put on shows with all proceeds going to local charities. Their first musical was ‘Matilda and Friends’ and raised over €1,100 for the Irish Cancer Society.

Jack was nominated for the Young Person of the Year award because of his positive attitude, dedication, commitment and enthusiasm to community life in the Ballina area.

  • Sara McFadden, pictured with her father and Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach Blackie Gavin

  • Jack Cronin, pictured with family members, Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach Blackie Gavin and Neil Sheridan, MCC

Clodagh Campion – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to Westport teenager Clodagh Campion on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Clodagh displayed the ultimate act of friendship in August when she undertook her first sky dive to raise funds for the ASD Unit at Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh.

Clodagh’s neighbour Jessica Rose was diagnosed with Autism and had secured a place in the new ASD Unit at Sancta Maria College. Her long time friend wanted to mark her 18th birthday by raising funds through the ‘Jumping 4 Jess’ campaign which would see her hold various fundraising events with business interests and both primary and secondary school students involved.

15 year old Jessica Rose was faced with the prospect of travelling from Westport to Balla Secondary School every day as there were no necessary facilities available closer to Westport but with a new school being built for the Louisburgh college, Clodagh saw an opportunity and proposed incorporating an autism unit which she would help raise the funds for.

Over the course of a year Clodagh aimed to raise €8,000 for the school’s ASD Unit. Undertaking the sky dive, alongside Jessica’s father Ed, on August 25th, Clodagh not only met her goal but far exceeded it, raising €17,000 to date.

  • Pictured is Clodagh Campion, Jess Rose and Ed Rose (Father of Jess)

Lahardane Live – Community Award

Mayo County Council would like to offer it’s congratulations to Lahardane Live on receiving a Community Award as part of the Rehab Mayo People of the Year 2018 awards, in association with Mayo RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

Lahardane Live was set up in January 2018 by Caoimhín Rowland and William Barrett. It’s premier aim at the beginning was to broadcast Lahardane GAA’s All-Ireland junior semi-final to those around the world through Facebook Live.

Viewings for that game alone totalled over 5,000 and it became clear to the organisers, with a follower count online almost surpassing the population of the village itself, that they had hit on something big.

With the online diaspora of the quaint North Mayo parish there for all to see, Lahardane Live quickly became a fixture of the community’s life.

Through the streaming of the village’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and a transatlantic concert in the local church, with special guests the Hayes High School Marching Band from Ohio, thousands more around the world became aware of Lahardane.

These type of events within the village grew and garnered new fans as the people of the community became more and more involved.

There are few faces that have yet to be on the end of the Lahardane Live lens and that community support is what has helped it to go from strength to strength.

Few could have expected the support and views the group have gathered, with over a quarter of a million people watching matches, masses, parades and concerts from the village.

They have succeeded in not only bringing Lahardane to the world, but the world to Lahardane.

 

  • Pictured are John McDonnell (Camera), Darragh Walsh (Commentary), William Barrett (Production) and Grace McDonnell (Production) from Lahardane Live.

  • Pictured are  Edel Cannon (RehabCare Mayo manager) and John McDonnell (Lahardane Live Technician)

 

 

 

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