Winners of Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards

Wednesday, March 01, 2023. 12:05pm
Overall winners of Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards announced
Lisa O’Donovan of Down Syndrome Centre Cork, Judges Overall Winner, with friends at the Community Spirit Awards which took place at the Cork International Hotel sponsored by The Carrighdoun Newspaper, Gerald McCarthy Gifts and Awards, Cork County Council and Cork International Hotel. Also included are Cllr. Jack White, deputising for the Mayor of the County of Cork; Carmel Lonergan, Director of Group Operations, Trigon Hotels; Gerald McCarthy, sponsor; Nicola Radley, Cork County Council, sponsor; Cllr Fergal Dennehy, deputising for the Lord Mayor of Cork and Vincent O’Donovan, Carrigdhoun Newspaper, sponsor. Pic: Brian Lougheed

Overall winners of Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards announced

A centre set up by a group of parents to provide vital intervention services to young children with Down syndrome and their families has been named the overall winners of the Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Award 2022.  It’s the second year of the monthly awards to honour the unsung heroes who volunteer and make a significant contribution to their community. 

A gala dinner was held at the Cork International Hotel to celebrate the 12 monthly recipients and to name the overall winners. The awards night was attended by Cllr. Fergal Dennehy who deputised on behalf of the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Jack White who deputised on behalf of the County Mayor, and elected representatives from the community who were involved in the awards throughout the year.

Down Syndrome Centre Cork, the May winner, was announced as the Judges Overall Winner at the special event. The Forge Hill based centre was established in 2014 and relies entirely on fundraising to deliver occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, early intervention programmes as well as parent and baby classes. It also runs events for siblings and networking events for parents.

The public vote went to the Friends of Danny Crowley, the January winner. Following Danny’s untimely passing after a long battle with leukaemia in 2013 at age 12, his friends and family set up the Danny Crowley Christmas Swim as their way of remembering him while also raising funds for the Mercy Kids and Teens appeal. Since the annual event began in 2013, well in excess of €150,000 has been raised for the young patients at the Mercy Hospital. 

Willie Walsh from Carrigaline United AFC, who won the October award, was presented with a Lifetime Contribution Award. Willie is Club Chairman of Carrigaline United AFC and is credited as being the driving force behind the club’s enormous growth and success in recent decades. He is also heavily involved in the local community and is a volunteer and Board Member with the Carrigaline Family Support Centre. 

Eoghan Murphy, General Manager of the Cork International Hotel said, “We were thrilled to host the 2nd annual awards night for the winners, their family and friends. It is wonderful to be able to gather and celebrate so many remarkable individuals and groups who contribute so much to their communities. These volunteers are working throughout Cork in every community and we are delighted to be able to put them in the spotlight. I would like to congratulate the overall winners again but also the monthly winners for their time, dedication and commitment to the communities that they serve and for the impact they continue to have on all our lives.” 

Director of Group Operations with Trigon Hotels, Carmel Lonergan was on the judging panel, she said: “We are honoured to be able to witness such a wide variety of local individuals and groups be nominated each month for these awards. During the process we get massive insights into all the amazing work volunteers do in the local community. Making the final selection is never easy as everyone is so deserving of the recognition. Congratulations to all winners across the year, they are a positive inspiration to us all to get out and do work within our communities.”   

The awards are sponsored by The Carrigdhoun Newspaper and Gerald McCarthy Giftware. The judging panel was made up of private and public sector representatives including Carmel Lonergan; Nicola Radley, Cork County Council; Aisling Killilea, Bank of Ireland; and Vincent O’Donovan, The Carrigdhoun Newspaper.

Throughout 2022, there was one winner per month awarded and they were:

  • January – The Friends of Danny Crowley
  • February – Aisling Claffey, Carrigaline Girl Guides
  • March – Carrigaline Community First Responders
  • April – Cork’s Everton AFC
  • May – Down Syndrome Centre Cork
  • June – John Middleton Jnr, Crosshaven GAA
  • July – Crosshaven Coast Guard
  • August – Coal Quay Family Festival 
  • September – Save Ballymartle Woods
  • October – Willie Walsh, Carrigaline United AFC
  • November Five Mile Bridge Community Group
  • December – Walty Murphy, Passage West

2022 Winners:

  • Judges Overall Winner – Down Syndrome Centre Cork – Presented by Nicola Radley from the Cork County Council
  • Public Vote – The Friends of Danny Crowley – Presented by Vincent O’ Donavan, Carrigdhoun Newspaper
  • Lifetime Contribution – Willie Walsh, Carrigaline United AFC – Presented by Carmel Lonergan, Trigon Hotels

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