16 December 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

Friday night’s Rehab People of the Year ceremony held in The Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan, afforded the county’s citizens a reason to dress up, as its often unsung heroes were given the recognition they deserved.
The overall award on the night went to a very deserving Tydavnet Parish Show Committee, who celebrated their 60th show in August 2011. Their devotion, passion and honesty of effort are second to none.
Event co-ordinator Mary Gamble, of the Rehab Group opened proceedings by welcoming the night’s winners and guests, before calling on the host with the most, Pat Deery, Master of Ceremonies.
He in turn introduced distinguished guests including: David Fallon, Acting County Manager; Seamus Coyle, Mayor of County Monaghan; Stuart Steele and guests from Silver Hill Foods; Cathal Smyth and members of staff from The Northern Standard; Colm and Audri Herron, The Hillgrove Hotel; George Wallace the 2010 Monaghan Overall Person of the Year; Peter Mc Kevitt, Rehab Care General Manager and Chair of the National Disabilities Board; Emer Tully and Emer Douglas, service users of the RehabCare Resource Centre.
The Rehab Foundation singled out the adjudicators, who had the difficult task of studying the nominations. David Drumm was also saluted for lending his organisational expertise to the event.
Last but not least, the sponsors were thanked, as without them the event would not have taken place at all: Monaghan County Council; Silver Hill Foods; Monaghan Mushrooms; The Hillgrove Hotel; Monaghan Rotary Club; Monaghan Co Board GAA; Martin McVicar Combi Lift Ltd.; Seamus McPhillips BMW and Mini Services; The Northern Standard; Monaghan Electrical and Rehab Bingo.
Before the speeches began, the compere mentioned the in-house raffle, the proceeds of which will aid people with disabilities who use Rehab services here in County Monaghan. Raffle sponsors were: Brown Thomas, Dublin; Cavan Crystal; FBD Insurance, Navan; Hi—Maintenance, Monaghan; The Hillgrove Hotel and Dolan’s Pharmacy, Monaghan.
Mayor of County Monaghan Seamus Coyle began by saying that he was very proud and honoured that Monaghan County Council was the main sponsor of the wonderful event, which honoured acknowledged ordinary people, who are doing extraordinary things to improve the lives of their fellow county folk.
Therefore, he not only congratulated, but also thanked the night’s winners for going above and beyond the call of duty for their communities.
The Mayor commended the Rehab Group on their expert organisation of the annual charitable event, which helped fund their magnificent work.
He also gave a nod to not only the county’s great inclusive community facilities, but also to the volunteers who used them and helped bring them about in the first place.
This selfless volunteerism and community spirit always made him proud to hail from Monaghan wherever he roamed, the Mayor explained.
“In these economically challenging times, our interdependence and spirit of working together is more and more called into demand. Our award winners tonight are an example of how to show courage in the face of adversity,” he commented.
The awards had once again captured the imagination of the people of the county, as the winners truly made it a better place to live, Mayor Coyle concluded.
Bishop Liam McDaid said grace before the meal and the dessert was made all the more pleasurable by a performance from Monaghan Gospel Choir. Bishop John McDowell led prayer after the meal. Then the presentations took place, before winners and attendees alike danced the night away to the sounds of American Pie.

VOLUNTARY HERO AWARD: Kathleen O’Hanlon has been responsible for teaching children and adults to swim in Monaghan for nearly 40 years. She is now an examiner for County Monaghan Louth and Cavan and runs lifeguard courses, swimming teacher courses and has done all this as a volunteer. Cathal Smyth of The Northern Standard presented this voluntary hero award.

CHILD OF COURAGE AWARD: Emma McCarron was the worthy recipient of the Child of Courage Award sponsored by Silver Hill Foods and presented by Eugene McKenna. Emma was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer in November 2008 and subsequently went through a gruelling 80 days of treatment to remove her tumour. Emma also recorded a CD in aid of Crumlin Children Hospital and performed with Monaghan Gospel Choir on the night.

UNSUNG HEROES AWARD: The first Unsung Heroes Award went to the “Growing in Peace Project”, based in Castleblayney. It was sponsored and presented by Seamus McPhillips BMW Services. The Growing in Peace Project successfully brought people together to work and engage with each other in the setting of a community garden. Seamus McPhillips Sponsor presents the Award to Deirdre McGinn, Marie Murphy and Martin Dufffy.

MONAGHAN PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR: Singing sensation Ryan Sheridan was named personality of the year, for his musical accomplishments and charitable work. Ryan was unable to attend the ceremony as he was playing a gig in Cavan, but sent a message via live video link. He said that he was honoured to receive the award and more importantly the recognition of his home county. Ryan’s parents Sean and Nellie accepted the award on Ryan’s behalf, sponsored by The Hillgrove Hotel and presented by Monique Madden.

OVERALL AND COMMUNITY GROUP CATEGORY WINNER: The Tydavnet Parish Show Committee were not only winners in their category, but also named as the overall winners on the night. They were hailed as a shinning example of what can be achieved when a community group empowers themselves to strive for success, having just celebrated their 60th annual agricultural show. The Community Group Award was sponsored by Monaghan Rotary Club and presented by David Drumm, whilst Acting County Manager David Fallon had the honour of presenting the Overall Winner Award to the committee on behalf of Monaghan County Council.

EMERGENCY SERVICES AWARD: Garda Callanan, based in Carrickmacross Garda Station, won the emergency services award for rescuing a young girl from drowning in Lough Muckno, Castleblayney during the summer. This award was sponsored by Monaghan County Council and presented by Mayor Seamus Coyle.

Pictured is Mary Gamble, organiser and Pat Deery, compere on the night.

UNSUNG HEROES AWARD: The second unsung hero to be honoured was Dermot Daly, for his maintenance of Ballybay Park. Sun, rain, hail, sleet, or snow, Dermot takes pride in cleaning, painting and repairing the park’s amenities. This award was presented by sponsor Michael Treanor from Monaghan Electrical.

COMMUNITY GROUP LEADER AWARD: Garry Nicholl, who won the Community Group Leader Award, is a volunteer with ‘Blayney Academy FC and has made a huge impact at the club since his arrival. He is pictured on the right receiving his award, which was sponsored by Monaghan Mushrooms and presented by Stephen Allen.

SPORTS PERSON OF THE YEAR: Elaine Alexander was a worthy recipient of this award, as she spent two months at sea, circumnavigating Ireland in a kayak for the Share charity for which she works. Anita Finnegan presented the award on behalf of sponsors Monaghan GAA County Board.

VOLUNTARY HERO AWARD: Donal Kenny from the Monaghan Arch Club was honoured as a voluntary hero. The award was sponsored by Rehab Bingo and is presented by Miriam McQuaid. Donal has been the club’s main organiser for 25 years, in addition to his other charitable endeavours.

OUTSTANDING BRAVERY AWARD: Michael Thompson was nominated for an outstanding bravery award by his 90—year—old neighbour, after Michael saved his life and that of his beloved dog. Michael ran into rescue the man and his pet from their burning house whilst on his way to work. Martin McKenna of Combilift Ltd. both sponsored and presented the award.

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