The search is on for the 2020 Offaly Person of the Year
THE presentation of the 2019 Offaly Person of the Year and the Offaly Unsung Hero awards is set to take place in December.
The gala presentation ceremony of the prestigious awards had to be cancelled on a number of occasions this year due to Covid-19 restrictions but organisers hope that a scaled down event can go ahead in December when the second nationwide lockdown is lifted.
Meanwhile, the awards organisers, a sub-committee of the Offaly Associaton (Dublin), have launched the search for the 2020 awards' recipients and coupons are published in this week's local newspapers.
Readers are invited to submit their nominees for the awards which are sponsored by Coolderry native, Noel Tynan of the Le Bon Crubeen restaurant in Dublin.
Speaking as the search for the 2020 winners was launched last week, Jennifer Guinan, chairperson of the Offaly Association, said “2020 has been a year with a difference to say the least. Rewind back to March, we were in our final stages of preparations for the 2019 Offaly Person of the Year Gala, when it all had to be put on hold.”
“I’d like to congratulate last year’s Offaly Person of the Year winner, Brendan Martin and the winner of the Unsung Hero Award, Pat Minnock,” outlined Jennifer, a native of Rath.
She continued: “We are back again this year, and we are looking for your nominations for the 2020 Offaly Person of the Year and the Unsung Hero of the Year.”
“Before and during this global pandemic, there have been people in Offaly who have gone above and beyond for their communities. Think about the people who made a difference in your life, who helped others and their communities, and who have made the people of Offaly proud to call them one of our own. We want to acknowledge these Offaly people,” she outlined.
Added Jennifer: “This is a prestigious award, which is presented to the winner having being nominated by the people of the county. Last year was the first time I had the privilege of informing the recipients of this accolade - it was wonderful seeing how honoured (and surprised) they were to receive the award.”
“Nominations will be in local newspapers over the coming weeks, and we encourage everyone to nominate who they think is deserving of the award.”
The completed nomination forms can be sent to organising sub-committee secretary Ger Scully, Convent View, Tullamore.
With regards to the Offaly Association in Dublin, Jennifer said they are very much looking forward to the resumption of some form of “normal life”, when members can meet again, and organise some social events.
“Regardless of get-togethers, we are still here if anyone in Dublin would like to reach out to us. And of course we are always delighted to welcome new members to the association,” she outlined.
Concluded Jennifer: “We would like to thank Offaly people for their support over the years and the local media for their coverage of the award. A huge thank you goes to Noel Tynan who sponsors the event and to the Bridge House Hotel for their continued support for the event.”
The Offaly Person of the Year award is now in its 33rd year.
The past year saw three past recipients of the award pass to their heavenly reward – Pat Smullen, Fr Tom Scully and Paddy Fenning – and the Association would like to extend the deepest sympathy to their families.