Mayor of Cork County Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy honoured outstanding people from diverse fields at a glittering Gala event at County Hall on Monday 15 April. The purpose of the occasion was to recognise and showcase the work and contribution of men and women who have excelled in their particular fields and succeeded in putting Cork County on the national and international stage.
Clean Coasts Ballynamona and Mary P Murphy were among the County’s high achievers to be recognised for their hard work at the annual ceremony. More over 20 residents and almost 30 groups were honoured by the county Mayor. Clean Coasts Ballynamona were recognised for their outstanding achievement in keeping Ballynamona beach and the adjoining protect wetlands, home to thousands of wading birds, clear of litter. Their first large scale beach clean in 2015 resulted in over 6 tonnes of rubbish being gathered and bagged. The group grew with support from the local communities and by engaging with St. Colman’s Community College. After winning an An Taisce Ocean Hero Award later that year, the group continued to cement their position into their community and have widened the scope of their mission. They cooperate with many Tidy Towns groups from East Cork and with the help of LA21 funding they have initiated the East Cork Biodiversity Networking Programme. This has led to the erection of Swift Nest Boxes, work with landowners in the eradication of Japanese Knotweed, and the purchase of equipment to aid in their work and to tackle fly-tipping. Education has now become central to their mission and they actively promote the Ballynamona area as a special protection area.
Mary P Murphy was recognised for her part in establishing a series of youth and community organisations in Knockraha. Over 40 years the East Cork woman has been instrumental in establishing a branch of the youth organisation Foroige, a Pioneer Association along with the establishment of the ICA – Irish county Woman’s Association in the village.
She has also raised thousands of Euro for Marymount Hospice and was involved in the establishment of the first parish council in the Glounthaune Parish.
Mayor Murphy said the Mayoral award ceremony was a fantastic way to recognise the wonderful achievements and pride people have in their community.
“All the time that has been invested in cleaning our environment, engaging with one another and working towards a communal goal has been of measureless benefit to everyone in the County, strengthening communities and making our towns and villages better and happier places to live”.
Chief executive Tim Lucey said “the work done at a local level by volunteers and voluntary organisations is absolutely essential to making County Cork a great place, not just to live, but to visit, to do business in, and to invest in.”
“It’s only by working together that we can continue to excel as a region” he said.