Jockey Pat Smullen is among the finalists for the award
The selection committee for the Offaly Person of the Year Awards have revealed the shortlist for this year’s prize. The 2017 winner will the 29th annual Offaly Person of the Year and will be named at a Gala Function in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore on Saturday, April 1.
The selection committee which is a sub-committee of the Offaly Association (Dublin) consists of Liam Fleury (chairperson), Connie Hanniffy (secretary), Ann Carey (treasurer), Ger Scully (PRO), Peter Carter and Pat Teehan. They have now completed their shortlist for the 2017 award after adding the remaining eight candidates recently.
Tullamore man Fintan Monahan, has been nominated in recognition of his appointment as Bishop of Killaloe, and the fact that he is one of the youngest bishops in the country.
Joe Masterson from the Fahy Handball Club near Rhode village is nominated based upon his election as President of GAA Handball on a three-year term.
Cathal O'Donoghue of O'Donoghue Bakery in Tullamore has been nominated after he won a national award and for the foresight he showed in bringing new products to the market place.
Pat Minnock from Tullamore has been shortlisted for his work as a volunteer for over forty years in a long list of community, parish and national organisations like the Lions Club and his work with schools and parish management committees.
Mick Nestor from Clara has been nominated for his hard work and commitment to the success of the Independent Living Project. 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Offaly Centre for Independent Living.
Ken Smollen from Tullamore has made the shortlist based on his work in looking after and visiting the homeless in the county and for his efforts in the collection of clothing and food for those in need.
Rhode man Pat Smullen is the sole sporting hero on the shortlist and his nomination comes on the back of huge success. He was crowned champion flat racing jockey for the ninth time in 2016. He continues to be a great ambassador for Irish racing, and rode the winner of the Irish Derby in 2016 and Epsom Derby hero Harzand for trainer Dermot Weld in the same year.
Freda Kinnarney of the Tullamore Show has been chosen for organising one of the highlights of the rural calendar on an annual basis and attracting a record entry last year, bringing huge economic benefit to the county town of Tullamore.
Previously announced nominees and those comprising the rest of the shortlist are Dominic Doheny, Tullamore; Jude Feehan, Ferbane; Stuart Grehan, Tullamore; Brendan Jennings; PJ Lynam; Mary Teresa Lynch, Tullamore; Tom Loonam, Cloghan; and Brendan Martin.