Tuesday 23 October 2018

Cork gearing up for 2017 Person of the Year awards

The awards 'recognise importance of 'acknowledgement and encouragement'

Mallow’s Stephanie Preissner, the August Person of the Month
Mallow’s Stephanie Preissner, the August Person of the Month

Bill Browne

On Friday, January 19 another name will be added to the illustrious list of those who have won the coveted title of Cork Person of the Year.

The winner or winners of the 2017 award, will be chosen from among the monthly winners and will be unveiled at a gala bash amid the salubrious surrounds of the Rochestown Park Hotel by MCs for the day, RTÉ'S Miriam O'Callaghan and David McCullagh. 

One of the highlights of the Cork social calendar, the event will have extra special significance as it will mark the 25th anniversary of the awards initiative, the brainchild of Mallow man Manus O'Callaghan. 

A large crowd of more than 250 invited guests, including many local and national personalties, will be in attendance to see the Cork Person (or persons) of the Year presented with their award by County Mayor, Cllr Declan Hurley and Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald.  

Speakers on the day will include RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes and Tom Crosbie of the Irish Examiner, with Cork soprano Cara O'Sullivan also set to perform at the event. 

The event offers people a welcome opportunity to come together and celebrate all that is good and great about Cork and the people who make it such a special place to live and work in. 

While the winners of the 12 monthly awards come from widely different backgrounds and spheres of interest they have one thing in common - their achievements and the selfless work many have done on behalf of their communities deserves to be recognised. 

As in previous years, the 2017 monthly winners epitomise the many admirable qualities that Cork people are renowned for - their warm, creativity, generosity of spirit and willingness to go that extra mile to achieve their goals.  Event organiser and founder Manus O'Callaghan said the standard of last year's monthly award winners was once again extremely high.

"I am proud to be able to say that after 25-years these awards are still going strong and with so many worthy nominees in 2017 our judges, Tim Lucy, CEO of Cork County Council and Ann Doherty, CEO of Cork City Council, have a particularly difficult job on their hands to pick an overall winner," he said.

Manus said that when growing up in north Cork he did not see a lot of praise and encouragement going around 

"The Ireland of my youth was more a 'spare the rod and spoil the child' place, a 'don't give someone a swelled head' type of a country. In these more enlightened times we appreciate the importance of acknowledgement and encouragement," he said.

He said that award schemes such as this are hugely important because by honouring people for their achievements and actions, "we inspire others so that they may In these follow in their footsteps".

"Hopefully, we have also achieved the original objective of this initiative , which was to promote Cork City and County, and perhaps most importantly of all, the people of Cork."

Past Cork People of the Year

2016: Gary & Paul O'Donovan

2015: John Looney

2014: Louise O'Keeffe

2013: Rob Heffernan

2012: Fr. Pierce Cormac & Bill Deasy

2011: Liam Casey

2010: Paddy O'Brien

2009: Conor Buckley

2008: Pat Falvey & Dr. Clare O'Leary

2007: John Fitzpatrick

2006: Dan Donovan

2005: Prof. John A. Murphy

2004: Roy Keane

2003: Fr. Sean Healy

2002: Adi Roche

2001: Gerry Murphy

2000: Sonia O'Sullivan

1999 : Jimmy Barry Murphy

1998: Kevin Downing

1997: Paddy Comerford

1996: Barry Galvin

1995: John Bermingham

1994: Dr. Michael Mortell

1993: Sr. Colette Hickey