Volunteers recognised at special event

“WHERE would we be without Volunteers?”

“WHERE would we be without Volunteers?”

This was a question asked by Cllr Molly Buckley, Cathaoirleach of Tullamore Town Council at the Volunteer Recognition Night on Thursday May 19 in the Town Hall.

There were 117 voluntary groups represented and each group received a Certificate of Appreciation recognising their valuable contribution to volunteering in this European Year of Volunteering. On arrival, people were greeted by the Irish music provided by Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann who are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year.

Cllr Buckley welcomed all present to the event and thanked them for their volunteering which is making a huge contribution to our community. She said “As Chairperson of Tullamore Town Council I am pleased to be hosting this event which I believe is so important. We are here to recognise the contribution made by the many people who volunteer, and to recognise the value of the amazing work and time volunteers are putting into clubs, groups and committees in this town in such a quiet and effortless manner”

“I am proud to see that, in spite of the difficult economic climate we find ourselves in at present, kindness, caring and giving are still very much alive in Tullamore.

“We have an abundance of volunteers in our town who make a huge difference to all our lives. Tullamore Town Council has identified over 90 voluntary organisations in Tullamore, delivering services and programmes that improve and enhance the life of our community,” said Cllr Buckley.

Acting Town Clerk, Gabriel Conlon, echoed the sentiments of the Cathaoirleach and said that he has been volunteering since he was 14, and continues to volunteer in his local community. He paid tribute to Molly Buckley for all the work she does, and encouraged people to continue volunteering, “ we need volunteers now more than ever”, he said.

Key speaker and guest of honour, Ciaran Mullooly of RTE and Deputy Vice Governor of the Lions Club, spoke about his own experience as a volunteer, his involvement in local development and his involvement with Lions Clubs in Ireland. He said, “when people volunteer it comes from the heart, it is something they really want to do”. He thanked everyone present for their contribution. He then presented Awards to a young volunteer and two long serving volunteers.

A citation was read out by Bridget Malone for Michael Bracken for his service as a Youth Volunteer.

Sr Veronica Gilsenen’s citation was read out by Molly Buckley for the major role she played in the development of Church and the wider commuity in Tullamore since the 1930’s.

Seamus O’Dea was also presented with a long serving award. Seamus’s citation was read by Eamon Murphy, President of St Vincent de Paul.

The remainder of the night was spent networking. Most groups need more volunteers and groups were encouraged to contact Mary Brady at the Volunteer Centre in Offaly Local Development Company, Millennium House, Main Street, Tullamore, email: mbrady@offalyldc.ie