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Clare Older People’s Volunteer of the Year Awards

Age Friendly Ireland | Local |

11 April, 2024

Celebration of Clare Older People’s Volunteer of the Year 2024

Over 170 people attended an event in the Woodstock Hotel in Ennis, County Clare, on Wednesday 10th April, to celebrate with the fifteen people nominated for the Clare Older People’s Volunteer of the Year Award 2024. The function was hosted by the Clare Older People’s Council, with support from the Clare Age Friendly Programme in Clare County Council.

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Paul Corey Photography & Video

Bríd Dilleen was awarded the Clare Older People’s Volunteer of the Year Award 2024 by Clare Age Friendly Ambassador, Mike Hanrahan, and Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Gabriel Keating. Bríd was nominated by the Ennis Tidy Towns Committee in recognition of her invaluable contribution to the local community through her work with Ennis Tidy Towns, the Banner GAA Club, Probus, Clare Volunteer Centre, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the Irish Cancer Society. Notably, Bríd is a founding member of the Banner Ladies Football Club and was a leader of the first Girl Guides in Ennis. The award also acknowledges Bríd’s international volunteering through her work with the One-to-One Children’s Charity where Bríd, drawing on her 41 years of teaching experience, taught children in a Kenyan orphanage.

Opening the event with an initial welcome address as gaeilge, Cllr Gabriel Keating, Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, stated that “volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart. The volunteers nominated for this award have demonstrated what heart, positivity and a sense of community spirit can achieve. Their hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm, enriches their communities each and every day”. Additionally, Cllr. Keating paid tribute to the organisers of the event, the Clare Older People’s Council, and commented on how important the work of the Clare Older People’s Council is to the development of policies and practices within County Clare, as the demographic changes and the number of older people increases.

Representing Pat Dowling, Bernadette Haugh, Senior Executive Officer, Clare County Council welcomed nominees, their families and friends to the event and stated that “the volunteers nominated for this award today have led by example demonstrating through their hard work, resilience and dedication, just what can be achieved to enhance their communities”. Following on, Ms. Haugh quoted Michelle Obama citing that: “Volunteering is the lifeblood of our communities. It is not just about giving back; it is about giving forward and creating a better world for all of us”.

Maurice Harvey, Chairperson, Clare Older People’s Council acknowledged the work of the Clare Older People’s Council and recognised the hard work and dedication that the awards subcommittee had put in to organise the event. Mr. Harvey thanked the Age Friendly Programme Team and the Rural Development Department at Clare County Council not only for their support with the Clare Older People’s Volunteer of the Year Award but for their continued and ongoing support.

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Paul Corey Photography & Video

The guest speaker at the event was Clare Age Friendly Ambassador, Mike Hanrahan, of Stockton’s Wing, who spoke passionately about the importance of the work of Age Friendly Ireland in ensuring that Ireland is a place where people can be proud to age in. Entertainment at the event was provided by the Forever Young Choir, Mike Hanrahan, and Shay O’Callaghan who had the attendees dancing and singing the afternoon away.  

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