Chairperson Hosts Civic Awards Ceremony to Celebrate Local Heroes
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage welcomed 46 amazing individuals and organisations to the Burrendale Hotel in Newcastle on Wednesday 7 September for a special Civic Awards Ceremony.
Each year the Council recognises those people who have demonstrated outstanding service to the community, made a significant contribution to public life in Newry, Mourne and Down and have shown real dedication in helping local residents.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Chairperson Councillor Michael Savage said, “These awards give us the opportunity to show our gratitude for the fantastic people in Newry, Mourne and Down who go above and beyond to improve the lives of others. We always receive lots of nominations in respect of outstanding people in our community and it is never an easy task to select who should receive a civic award.”
Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage continued, “There were so many fantastic stories received, every story was different, every volunteer so appreciated by the person that nominated them. I am delighted to be able to host this event at the Burrendale Hotel to highlight the major efforts made by individuals and groups to the betterment of the district and to say thank you for their contribution.”
This year’s recipients were nominated for their contribution in the following six categories: Arts and Culture, Human Endeavour, Enterprise, Community and Voluntary, Fundraising and Sport.
Amongst the beneficiaries was five-year-old Aaron Walsh who was born with Cerebral Palsy and Diplegia in his limbs which caused immeasurable pain. Aaron underwent life changing surgery at St Louis Children’s Hospice in Missouri which thankfully has been very successful. Aaron was presented with a Human Endeavour Civic Award for showing remarkable bravery.
Loretta Gribben and Helene Grant both won Community and Voluntary Civic Awards for their important role in setting up Community First Responders groups in their local District Electoral Areas (DEA). Both their ambition and drive to establish a trained Community Responders group in their respective areas were founded out of personal tragedies. They have helped facilitate the provision of a defibrillator and first aid training across Slieve Croob DEA and the Mournes DEA providing vital first aid assistance if the ambulance service is experiencing delays.
Patrick Morgan has a reputation as a community man who is always there to help. He has helped numerous groups and charities over the years, raising thousands of pounds for each one. At 86 years young, Patrick was awarded with a Community and Voluntary Civic Award as a token of appreciation from the Council for being such an honourable, decent, kind and generous person and leading community spirit right across the district.
Cyril McKinney has been a magnificent fundraiser for a variety of charities. He has devoted his life to helping others, amongst them are the most vulnerable in society. Without question, Cyril goes the extra mile for his community and was a much-deserved receiver of a Community and Voluntary Civic Award.
Collie and Eithne Bell received the Special Recognition Civic Award in recognition of the hundreds of grieving families that they have helped. The couple, who following the tragic loss of their own beloved son Kevin in the United States in 2013 founded the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust. This Trust aims to alleviate the financial hardship of bereaved families repatriating the body (bodies) of loved one(s) who have died abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances back to Ireland. To date the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust has repatriated a staggering 1,365 loved ones who have passed away in every corner of the world back to their bereaved families on the island of Ireland.
These are just some of the very special people that were acknowledged at the awards ceremony. All the recipients were recognised for doing extraordinary things that make a positive contribution in their community.
Arts and Culture
Aoibheann Morgan, Lucia Morgan, Oisin Bradley, Cathleen Garland and Terry Cowan.
Aaron Walsh, Naomi Herron, Leanne Molloy.
Sophie McKnight, Aimee McComb and Ellen Bailie.
Community and Voluntary
Loretta Gribben, Helene Grant, Owen Fegan, Kate Cahill, Georgina Jennings, Karen Patterson, Patrick Morgan, Richie Shilliday, Liam O’Rourke, Rev Stephen Smyth, Barry Kinney, Esther Boyle, Cyril McKinney, Patricia Curran, Seamus Travers, Jim McDonnell, Bolster Community, Newcastle Lions Club, Downpatrick Town Committee,Killyleagh Community Association, Meadow Armagh Road Community Association, Seamus McCabe – PIPS and Amy Fegan.
Paudy Smith, Geraldine Lowry, Sean Quinn and James McCaffrey.
Paula Galbraith, Tony Patterson, Gareth Keown, Peadar O’Dornin, Ruth Carvill, Declan and Helen Carvill.
Collie and Eithne Bell