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Kanturk’s Kate Jarvey is named joint Cork Person of the Month

The Co-founder of the Ovens-based Crann Centre and volunteer Terry O’neill honoured for their work

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The September Cork Person(s) of the Month, Crann Centre co-founder and chairperson, philanthropist Kate Jarvey and Crann volunteer Terry O’Neill pictured at the award presentation with: (L-R): Pat Lemasney, Southern; Manus O’Callaghan, awards founder and organiser, Sandra Carey, Irish Examiner; Tina Quinn, AM O’Sullivan PR; John Lehane, Lexus Cork and Padraig Mallon, chief executive, Crann Centre Photo: Tony O’Connell.

The September Cork Person(s) of the Month, Crann Centre co-founder and chairperson, philanthropist Kate Jarvey and Crann volunteer Terry O’Neill pictured at the award presentation with: (L-R): Pat Lemasney, Southern; Manus O’Callaghan, awards founder and organiser, Sandra Carey, Irish Examiner; Tina Quinn, AM O’Sullivan PR; John Lehane, Lexus Cork and Padraig Mallon, chief executive, Crann Centre Photo: Tony O’Connell.

The September Cork Person(s) of the Month, Crann Centre co-founder and chairperson, philanthropist Kate Jarvey and Crann volunteer Terry O’Neill pictured at the award presentation with: (L-R): Pat Lemasney, Southern; Manus O’Callaghan, awards founder and organiser, Sandra Carey, Irish Examiner; Tina Quinn, AM O’Sullivan PR; John Lehane, Lexus Cork and Padraig Mallon, chief executive, Crann Centre Photo: Tony O’Connell.

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THE Kanturk-based woman who co-founded the Ovens-based Crann Centre, which provides support for people with neuro-physical disabilities, has been unveiled as the joint September Cork Person of the Month for September.

Kate Jarvey and Crann Centre volunteer Terry O’Neill have been honoured with the joint award in recognition of the work that they and indeed the entire team at the charity have being doing for almost a decade.

In 2014 Kate Jarvey, along with the late Timmy Buckley, founded the Crann Centre, which provides services including health & continence, psychological well-being, mobility, education & career pathways, community networks and independent living for adults, children and families living with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and childhood stroke.

It currently supports more than 270 families and has established numerous ground-breaking ‘first in Ireland’ initiatives such as their Model of Care, co-working spaces that support people with disabilities to remote work in collaborative environments and a fully accessible playground and leisure space.

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Recently, Kate Jarvey opened a 25-acre accessible space at her farm near Kanturk that affords people with disabilities the opportunity to access nature within an inclusive working conservation area.

Kate, whose aunt Ruth Lilley was great-granddaughter of Eli Lilley the founder of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co, helps oversee the Ruth Lilly Philanthropy Foundation’s grant-making.

Throughout her life she has followed in the philanthropic tradition of her family, working in various philanthropy projects across the world, in her own words “learning again and again that it is only in giving that we receive.”

“I came to live in Ireland in 1997 and have enjoyed supporting various charitable endeavours here. In 2014 I realised a long-held ambition of finding a special philanthropy project in Ireland,” said Kate.

She said the Crann Centre Ltd (CCL) was founded with the mission of breaking the pattern of fragmented care services for people with disability and their families.

“This pattern has marginalised people with disability and their families, increased stigma, and social isolation. I hope that Crann will be the changemaker now, and for many years to come,” said Kate.

Terry O’Neill, a master craftsman, was responsible for building the huge wooden pirate ship that is the centrepiece of the ‘first in Ireland’ fully accessible playground and leisure area for children with neuro-physical disabilities, which was officially opened by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin in July.

Terry’s late son Cathal had Spina Bifida and in his memory Terry has given years of service to children with disabilities, including serving as a past chairman and committee member of the Cork Spina Bifida Association.

“I would like to thank all my colleagues at Cumnor Construction and other volunteers and sponsors for their help at the Crann playground. I know Cathal would approve of the way it turned out,” said Terry.

Crann Centre chief executive Padraig Mellon said staff and board members were delighted with the recognition received for Kate Jarvey and “our super volunteer” Terry O’Neill.

“Terry, supported by a small group of friends, spent every Saturday over the past year building the huge pirate ship by hand,” said Mr Mallon.

Kate Jarvey and Terry O’Neill’s names will now go forward for possible selection as the joint 2022 Cork Person(s) of the Year, the winner(s) of which will be announced in January.


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