Wednesday 22 May 2019

A celebration of volunteerism at the Nell Healy Awards night

Ailish Whelan collects her award from Joe Healy (left) and Tom Mulvihill (right)
Ailish Whelan collects her award from Joe Healy (left) and Tom Mulvihill (right)

Myles Buchanan

The Nell Healy People of the Year Awards took place recently in Phil Healy's Pub in an aim to celebrate volunteerism.

The awards are named in memory of Ellen (Nell) Healy who during her 52-year business life always acknowledged the voluntary contribution of organisations and individuals in the community.

The awards are sponsored by Joe and Marian Healy in association with the Rotary Club of Wicklow. Once again, Joe Healy was the driving force behind the event along with Wicklow Rotary committee chaired by Andy Bolger.

'The Wicklow Parish People of the Year Awards provide an opportunity for the people of Wicklow to acknowledge individuals and local organisations who have made a real difference to their community,' said Tom Mulvihill, President, Wicklow Rotary.

'These are the unsung heroes in the community and we are delighted with the huge response to the awards this year which demonstrates the importance of volunteering.'

Joe Healy said that the task of choosing award winners was difficult this year as all categories were strongly represented which reflects well on Wicklow parish.

The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Dolores Goucher who is deeply committed to her community, especially goings-on at Hillview Community Centre.

Aisling Beacom won the International award for her outstanding performance at the Special Olympics World Games where she has won gold silver and bronze medals representing Ireland. Tommy Morrissey received the Sports Person of the Year Award for his performance over 52 years as a player and administrator in Wicklow Rugby Club.

The Executive Committee of Wicklow Active Retirement Association won the Community Support Award, which was collected by their Secretary, Pam McDonough.

Sean Olohan won the Arts and Culture Award for his work in promoting his native Wicklow on the international music scene for many years.

Kate Costello won the Young Person of the Year category. Kate, encouraged by her late father Dermot to give to charity, has organised the '5 for Fight' cancer campaign and has appeared on video to promote the cancer research fellowship as well as voluntary work carried out with Barnardos.

The committee made a 'Special Award' at this year's event in recognition of the work carried out by Tina Potts who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017.

Despite trying to come to terms with this news Tina put herself out into the public spotlight by appearing on local and national radio and television raising public awareness of ovarian cancer. Jimmy Balbontin accepted the award on behalf of Tina.

Wicklow People