The Offaly Person of the Year Award 2019 presentation deferred to next year
THE 2019 Offaly Person of the Year Award presentation has been postponed until next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers of the prestigious event have decided.
No date for the presentation of the accolade, organised by a sub-committee of the Offaly Association [Dublin], has yet been decided on due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.
Tullamore native, Brendan Martin, a pioneer of ladies football, was selected as the 2019 Offaly Person of the Year following a nomination process among the general public in co-operation with local newspapers circulating in the county..
The award was due to be presented at a gala dinner dance in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore on Saturday, March 28 next and was postponed to October 24 before organisers decided to reschedule it for next next year owing to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis..
Any tickets already purchased for the event will be valid for the rescheduled presentation said the Chairperson of the Offaly Association, Jennifer Guinan, the body which has organised the awards in its 32 year history.
The 2019 recipient, Brendan Martin was instrumental in organising the first All-Ireland Ladies Football Championships in 1974 and has seen the sport go from strength to strength over the decades.
He bought the Cup that was presented to the winners of the first All-Ireland championships, Tipperary, who beat Offaly by a point in the final played in Durrow in Co. Laois.
The cup awarded to the winners of the championships each year still bears his name, the Brendan Martin Cup.
The Dillon St native is also a talented musician who joined St Colmcille's Pipe Band in his native Tullamore at the tender age of 14 and is renowned as a raconteur and storyteller in his adopted home of Kill in Co. Kildare.
A qualified quantity surveyor, Brendan was a staunch member of the Offaly Association in Dublin for many years and established one of the leading construction firms in the capital.
The recipient of the second annual Unsung Hero of Offaly Award is Pat Minnock, from Cappincur.
Pat, a leading light in Tullamore Lions Club who is presently immersed in the Hooves4Hospice project, is a community worker par excellence who operates under the radar helping those in need in his local area.
The Rahan native has been immersed in community groups in Tullamore and his adopted Cappincur for over four decades.
The former Readymix salesman has been a stalwart of the Lourdes Invalid Fund since the early 1980s and is a drystock farmer, whose hobby is restoring vintage vehicles which he exhibits at shows and rallies around the region.
The affable and outgoing community activist has climbed Croagh Patrick on 21 occasions, no less than ten of which he completed in his bare feet.
The award is sponsored by Coolderry native Noel Tynan, Le Bon Crubeen Restaurant, Talbot St, Dublin.
This is the 32nd Offaly Person of the Year Award and previous recipients have included former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, former President of the GAA, the late John Dowling, golfer Shane Lowry, historian Michael Byrne, Birr's Bro. Denis, jockey Pat Smullen, business men John Flanagan, the late Fr tom Scully, the late Seamus Carroll and John Grennan, the late footballer Paddy Fenning and athlete Pauline Curley.
Tickets for the event are priced at €40 and are available from any member of the Offaly Association sub-committee which organises the event and from the Bridge House Hotel, Digan's, William St and the Tullamore Tribune, William St.
The organising committee members are Jennifer Guinan, Chairperson, Offaly Association, Liam Fleury, Anne Carey, Noel McCann, Pat Teehan, Peter Carter and Ger Scully.
Meanwhile the Offaly Association was saddened at the death of two recipients of the award in recent weeks, Paddy Fenning and Fr Tom Scully.
The Association sends its deepest sympathy to the families of both deceased who were deserved recipients of the Offaly Person of the Year Award in 1989 and 2012 respectively.