A BROSNA woman who has dedicated the past 25 years of her life to working with the most vulnerable members of the Irish community in London has been honoured at an awards ceremony in her adopted home.
Shelagh O'Connor - who is the director of the New Horizon Youth Centre in Euston, which works to keep young people off the street - was one of 10 nominees shortlisted for the Irish Youth Foundation/Irish Post Hibernian Hero Award. The awards, which were presented in London on Thursday night, aim to highlight and honour the work done by IYF-supported projects serving young Irish people all across Britain.
Shelagh has been director of New Horizons since 2000, but her 25-year working career has spanned community and Third Sector organisations from the smaller London Irish Women's Centre to 'Centreprise' - a large community based project in the inner city Borough of Hackney. She was nominated for her extraordinary work at New Horizons which aims to ensure that young people do not end up on the streets of King's Cross and Euston - something that was commonplace in the ' 80s and ' 90s when she first moved to London. Shelagh told The Kerryman she was absolutely thrilled and somewhat stunned when she heard of her nomination, and said to be shortlisted for such an award was an honour in itself.
Shelagh - who took part in this year's Ring of Kerry Cycle with her friends at the Kilflynn Cycling Club - is a regular visitor back to Brosna, staying in the family home with friends and relatives. She is also a regular visitor to Brosna's Con Curtin Festival, but sadly missed out on the recent Patrick O'Keeffe Festival in Castleisland as she was in Dublin supporting her niece who took part in the Dublin City Marathon.