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Wednesday 19 June 2019

Michael O'Flynn unveiled as the Cork Person of the Month

Key driver behind Liam Miller match honoured for charity work

Front row: John Caulfield, Liam Miller Committee (LMC), Michael O’Flynn, December Cork Person of the Month; Ted Foley and Kate O’Flynn (LMC). Rear: Manus O’Callaghan , awards organiser; Pat Lemasney, Southern: Ann Marie O’Sullivan, AM O’Sullivan PR; Tony Leen (LMC), John Lehane, Lexus Cork and George Duggan, Cork Crystal. Photo: Martin Collins.
Front row: John Caulfield, Liam Miller Committee (LMC), Michael O’Flynn, December Cork Person of the Month; Ted Foley and Kate O’Flynn (LMC). Rear: Manus O’Callaghan , awards organiser; Pat Lemasney, Southern: Ann Marie O’Sullivan, AM O’Sullivan PR; Tony Leen (LMC), John Lehane, Lexus Cork and George Duggan, Cork Crystal. Photo: Martin Collins.

Bill Browne

It was one of the occasions of the year in Cork if not the entire country, an event that saw the entire community come together to celebrate the life of a true Leeside sporting hero.

Now, one of the key drivers behind the Liam Miller Tribute Match has this week been honoured with one of the Rebel County's most prestigious honours after Michael O'Flynn was unveiled as the Cork Person of the Month for December. 

A native of Ovens Liam Miller tragically lost his battle against cancer last February at the age of just 36.

Mr O'Flynn was a neighbour of Liam Miller and as a gesture of support for his family mounted one of the most high-profile fundraisers Ireland had ever seen. 

With the backing of key figures including Sir Alex Ferguson, Roy Keane, Martin O'Neill and many other well-known sporting and business names he helped organise the match. 

Played out in front of a capacity crowd at  Páirc Uí Chaoimh, it saw a Manchester Utd legends team under stewardship of Roy Keane take on a combined Republic of Ireland/Glasgow Celtic side managed by Martin O'Neill 

During his illustrious career Miller had played for all three of the teams that were represented at the tribute match as well as plying his trade in Australia, the US and making 29 appearances for Cork City in the 2015/2016 season. 

A total of €1.5 million raised through the game, a gala dinner hosted on the night of the match and other donations, with €1 million of that put into trust for Liam Miller's family. 

A further €250,000 was donated to Mary Mount Hospice and €100,000 to the Jack O'Driscoll Fund with the remaining balance donated to a variety of other causes including the Oesophageal Cancer Fund, The Mercy University Hospital, Enable Ireland, Cork Simon, Penny Dinners and Down Syndrome Cork. 

Following the event Liam Miller's wife Clare said she felt "truly blessed and grateful" to everyone who had helped organise to match and to those who supported it. 

"We would like to thank everyone involved from the bottom of our hearts. The love and support you have shown will always be remembered and treasured," Ms Miller said in a statement. 

Mr O'Flynn said that he accepted the Cork Person of the Month award on behalf of the entire Miller organising committee and "all of those who gave so generously to the appeal."

"There are many people I'd like to thank, especially the GAA for the use of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Lord Mayor Cllr Mick Finn, City Hall, local politicians and, of course, Liam's former team mates from Cork City, Manchester United, Celtic and the Republic of Ireland without whom the event could not have happened," said Mr O'Flynn. 

"I would especially like to thank all of the members of the organising committee who put a huge amount of work into the event, as well as the 45,000 people who packed out Páirc Uí Chaoimh on the day.  It was truly an historic event in Cork and made me so proud of our city and county." 

Roy Keane described the response from the public to the Miller family as being "truly amazing." 

"Everyone involved in the game was delighted with the amount raised last September, which will benefit so many people," he said.  

Announcing the accolade awards organiser, Mallow-man Manus O'Callaghan, said Mr  O'Flynn had received a huge number of nominations .

"Many of these also mentioned the many other fundraising projects he has been involved with over the years, especially establishing the Cork Friends of Crumlin group, which helps Our Lady's Children's Hospital, and National Children's Research Centre," said Mr O'Callaghan. 

Michael O'Flynn's name will now go forward for possible selection as the 2018 Cork Person of the Year, the winner of which will be unveiled at a gala lunch in January at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

Corkman

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