Fingal Independent

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Tribute paid to daa 'charity champion'


A founding member of the daa's Charity of the Year programme which has raise enormous sums for charity since 2007, is to be remembered forever at Dublin Airport in an annual charity cycle that will now become the Nicola Radford daa Charity Cycle.

Nicola Radford passed away just a few short weeks ago after a long and courageous battle with cancer and here beloved colleagues in Dublin Airport have paid tribute to her this week by naming the charity cycle for her.

A close daa colleague and friend of Nicola, and former president of Fingal Dublin Chamber, Siobhan O'Donnell told the Fingal Independent this week about the loss of 'a wonderful colleague and dear friend' and how she will be remembered.

Siobhan said: 'Nicola was a truly beautiful person inside and was our wonderful colleague and dear friend.'

Nicola passed away peacefully on July 22 surrounded by her husband, Peter Kelly and close family.

Siobhan explained: 'Nicola clocked 22 years' service with daa, formerly Aer Rianta, so she was widely known around the airport from the various departments she had worked in during that time.

'She had a deep sense of loyalty, commitment and pride in daa and her colleagues and she loved airport life.'

A Fingal woman from Swords, Nicola's role as daa's Communications Officer meant she was well known in the area frequently meeting with local communities and businesses. She is also fondly remembered here at the Fingal Independent where we worked with Nicola on various airport-related stories over the years.

Siobhan remembers Nicola as 'the ultimate caretaker'.

She explained: 'She was a great wife to Peter and fantastic mother to Olivia and Hazel and a dear colleague to us all in daa.

'Nicola was a real people person and she had a great talent in sensing those who were troubled, in need of advice or a listening ear.

'In work and at home Nicola was a great motivator and organiser. She brought an abundant supply of energy to every event and project and gave it 100% whether it was the annual neighbour's street party or her work with daa's Charity of the Year Programme.

'Nothing was half done, every detail was meticulously checked.'

Speaking about Nicola's role in the Charity of the Year programme, Siobhan said: 'Nicola was a founding member of daa's Charity of the Year Programme. A true charity champion she threw herself whole heartedly into many fundraising events. She became the charity's mascot donning our 'Dottie the Dinosaur' costume, sweltering underneath it at many events.

'We often laughed at how she was smiling broadly underneath the head piece for photos even though no one could see her or knew it was her.'

Explaining why the charity cycle was chosen to take Nicola's name, Siobhan said: 'By her own admission, Nicola wasn't the sporty type but every year she trained for the annual daa Charity Cycle. And, like many other charity events she was on the organising committee to ensure its success.

'It is a fitting tribute that going forward the annual cycle will be called the Nicola Radford daa charity cycle.'

The 2015 cycle will take place on Saturday, October 17 from the Airport Fire Station beside the Boot Inn, on a route measuring 75k in all to the Hill of Tara and back to the airport. Everyone is welcome to take part details will be posted on the daa Charities of the Year Facebook page.

All participants will receive a goodie bag and a commemorative jersey with Nicola's name printed on the sleeve to be worn on the day.

Siobhan said: 'Nicola's genuine concern for others is her greatest legacy of all and in return she was surrounded by love from Peter, Olivia, Hazel, her parents, brothers and loving friends.

'To have been so loved and regarded in life is a fine tribute to an amazing person who was so inspirational in the manner in which she faced her illness.

'She displayed great strength of character during those ten months in particular which she bravely bore with immense dignity, courage and hope.

'Nicola left an indelible mark on so many people, a beautiful person inside and out. We miss her terribly.' Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.