Laois Community and Voluntary Awards 2016
The heroes of local communities across the County were celebrated by Laois County Council in association with Laois Public Participation Network on Wednesday 11th May when over 230 people gathered in the The Heritage Hotel in Killenard for the 7th Annual Community and Voluntary Awards. The Awards are hosted to recognise the tremendous contribution made by community and voluntary groups to life in County Laois.
All nominees were recognised as having made a significant difference within and beyond their local community, through giving of their time, co-operation, their imagination and their hard work to achieve rewards of successful clubs, events and fundraising within the community. Each group and individual was congratulated on the night and presented with a certificate acknowledging their contribution to the community and voluntary effort in Laois.
The Master of Ceremonies on the night was RTE’s Justin Treacy, a native of County Laois. The evening opened with a music ensemble by Music Generation Laois Grupa Cheoil followed by addresses by the Cathaoirleach, Laois County Council, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Charles Flanagan and the Chief Executive, Laois County Council, Mr. John Mulholland.
The judges were thanked for their input having been impressed again this year they continue to be impressed and inspired by the ongoing commitment from so many people who achieve so much with so little. All the communities represented were sincerely thanked and were reminded that every community nominated is already a winner.
Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Catherine Fitzgerald said “we honour people like you in communities all over our county, and all that you have achieved. Without the work of our volunteers, life in our county wouldn’t exist to the same standard that it does. Your positive attitude and creative skills make good things happen, and while we all know that we need money to exist, it’s the enrichment of people and communities that is so much more important”.
Awards Runners up and Winners on the night were:
ARTS, CULTURE & HERITAGE CATEGORY – 6 NOMINEES
WINNER: Portlaoise St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee
Runner Up: Killeshin Pipe Band
HEALTHY & ACTIVE CATEGORY – 3 NOMINEES
WINNER: St. Abban’s Athletic Club
Runner Up: O’Dempsey’s GAA Club
Killeshin Community Centre
CHILDREN & YOUTH CATEGORY – 8 NOMINEES
WINNER: 1st Laois (Mountmellick) Scouts
Runner Up: Ratheniska Foroige Club
ENVIRONMENT CATEGORY – 7 NOMINEES
WINNER: Killenard Tidy Towns Committee
Runner Up: Clonaslee Tidy Towns Committee
Mountrath Playground/Amenity Park Committee
SOCIAL INCLUSION CATEGORY – 11 NOMINEES
Runner Up: Mountmellick Community Care
Of the15 nominations for Unsung Hero, Maura Reddin, a native of Mountmellick, was honoured on the night by Laois County Council as Unsung Hero 2016 and was presented with her award by Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Catherine Fitzgerald. Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald, congratulated all the nominees, who are, as she put it, heroes in their own community, for the hard work and commitment they put into their local areas and people.
Justin Treacy thanked the sponsors – The Nationalist, Laois Local Enterprise Office, Sports Partnership, Laois Partnership Company, Laois Public Participation Network and the Environment and Arts Sections of Laois County Council., and the Heritage Hotel, Killenard were also thanked for hosting the event.