Thurles Credit Union recently celebrated 20 years of sponsoring their annual People of the Year Awards at a function in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, when five “Unsung Heroes” of the community in Thurles and surrounding areas were honoured.
The Awards were set up in 1993 to honour people who volunteer their services in a wide variety of roles to benefit their neighbours, their clubs or the community in general. Among those to be recognised for their contributions in the past were Margo Olden, Peg Hanafin, the late Mary Powell, the late Dr. Jim Molony, Gerard O’Brien, Antóin O’Briain and a host of others who have led the way in giving selfless devotion to the community over a long time in a voluntary capacity.
Welcoming the guests, D.J. Darcy, President of Thurles Credit Union said “Thurles Credit Union, which is now in its fifty-second year, is backboned by committed voluntary workers, and we have always felt that the work of other members of the community in a similar capacity should be publicly acknowledged. In the difficult times in which our country finds itself at present, there is a greater need than ever for people to reach out a helping hand to friend and neighbour alike. The harsh economic climate has placed increased pressure on a wide range of community organisations, with a parallel pressure on many of the less-well off and disadvantaged among us. These pressures can only be eased by people making conscious decisions to help community-based organisations in some way or another. We all have some free time available to us, so we should give serious consideration to playing a role in our community, if we are not already doing so, and tonight we are honouring people who have done just that.”
Mr. Darcy thanked all those involved in organising the Awards ceremony, including committee members and the independent adjudication panel, and said the Credit Union was happy to continue promoting the Awards into the future.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Joseph Tynan, Moyne Road, for his years of service to the Order of Malta and to Thurles Lions Club. Seamus Mangan, Brittas Road, received a Community Award for his work with the Special Olympics, while Kevin Kelly, Loughmore, was similarly honoured for his work for the Azerbaijan Orphanage Appeal and the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. John Ryan, Croke Street, was honoured for a lifetime contribution to the Boy Scout Troop, while the very popular Phyllis Kennedy, Bohernamona Road, was presented with the “Good Neighbour Award” for her constant work with the sick and the elderly in her community.
Frank Connolly, a director of Thurles Credit Union was a very efficient master of ceremonies, ably assisted by vice-president Amanda Ryan. Mayor of Thurles Town Council, Michael Cleary, was guest of honour.