'Special' Mary is person of the year
IRELAND has become "much more enriched" by having the Special Olympics staged here last summer, the Irish person of the year, Mary Davis, said as she was awarded her title.
The chief executive of the 2003 Special Olympics was presented with the ESB/Rehab person of the year award by Tanaiste Mary Harney at a gala ceremony in the Citywest hotel which was televised live by RTE on Saturday night.
The joint award for young person of the year went to Limerick girl Ciara MacMahon who gave bone marrow to her three brothers who were born with chronic Granulotis disease, and teenager Niamh Ní Dhoibhilín who died recently having suffered from Neurofibromatosis.
Other winners were: Dr Mike Meegan, co-founder of the Icross aid agency which cares for 300,000 Aids patients in east Africa; Niall Mellon, for his commitment to the poverty-riddled Imizamo Yehu township in South Africa; Tyrone team captain Peter Canavan and racehorse trainer Dermot Weld.
A posthumous award was given to Ita Bourke for her work in developing the Leinster Area Retreat and Cancer centre.