Fenning honoured to win Offaly Person of Year accolade

Paddy Fenning has been unveiled as the winner of the 2011 Offaly Person of the Year by the Offaly Association, Dublin.

Paddy Fenning has been unveiled as the winner of the 2011 Offaly Person of the Year by the Offaly Association, Dublin.

Tullamore man Paddy scooped the award in recognition of the tremendous community work he has been carrying out.

Paddy initially came to prominence as talented football star for Offaly, winning 2 All Ireland football medals in Offaly’s breakthrough years of 1971 and 1972.

Since then Paddy has put a considerable amount of time and energy into raising funds for a range of projects around his native Tullamore.

Soon after retiring from playing in the mid 1980s, he successfully helped Tullamore GAA club to raise badly needed finance.

In recent years his time has been spent on notable projects such as the Swimming Pool and the new Community Arts Centre.

“There were some superb candidates nominated for the 2011 Offaly Person of the Year award,” explained Offaly Association Chairperson Martin Delaney, “There are some outstanding people doing wonderful work in Offaly and beyond. Paddy is a very worthy winner.”

Paddy becomes the 24th winner of the award since the scheme was initiated by the Offaly Association, Dublin in 1988 when former GAA President John Dowling (RIP) was the inaugural winner.

As 2011 winner, Paddy succeeds last year’s winners Darren Hanniffy and Ronan Scully who scooped the award for the humanitarian and charity work.

When contacted this week Paddy was busy co-ordinating the last details of the Tullamore Commuity Arts Centre fund-raising campaign.

“I feel honoured to have been selected to follow in the footsteps of some great individuals. It is a great compliment. There is still a bit to do on the Arts Centre project. We are 95% of the way there. There are fewer than 80 tickets left to be sold and we hope to do that before the Draw Date on March 30,” explained Paddy.

The Offaly Person of the Year award, kindly sponsored by Coolderry native Noel Tynan of The Celt Bar and Celtic Lodge on Talbot St, Dublin, will be presented at the Offaly Association’s annual dinner dance in the Red Cow Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin on March 24.

The Offaly Person of the Year roll of honour now reads - John Dowling RIP (1988), Fr Tom Scully (1989), Eddie Joe Dooley RIP (1990), Paddy Larkin RIP (1991), Brian Cowen TD (1992), Michael Byrne (1993), Jane Feehan (1994), James Nolan (1995), Kieran Keenaghan (1996), Br Denis Minehane (1997), Tom Parlon (1998), Matt Connor (1999), Brian Whelahan (2000), Dr Philip Brady (2001), Maura Allen and John Horan (2002), Seamus Carroll (2003), Miriam O’Callaghan (2004), Tom and Paul Mangan (2005), Sr. Oliver Wrafter (2006), Stephen Grant (2007), Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Organising Committee (2008), Shane Lowry (2009), Darren Hanniffy and Ronan Scully (2010), Paddy Fenning (2011).