2019 is the 7th year of the Cork County Mayor’s Community Awards Scheme recognising, in a public domain, those amongst us that go above and beyond in their commitment to the betterment of their community through voluntary works. That Youghal man, Pat Carey is among those nominees is no surprise to anyone who knows him, however vast the extent of his volunteering may be, as that is spirit which with Pat goes about his days, quietly and diligently in the background.
Pat’s annual Christmas Lights Appeal in aid of the Mercy Hospital Cancer Unit has been well advertised and known in Youghal for many years. He himself has faced the plague that is cancer and has come out the other side of it, and his commitment to helping others facing their own demon cancer is second to none. Speaking with The East Cork Journal, Pat said, “This is great surprise, I’m really amazed. How did I get to achieve something like this? I’m just an ordinary Joe Soap of the area. I will say my mother was a great influence on me, on all the family really. She did loads of sponsored walks, filled sponsorship cards for different causes and ran the local Charity Shop in town. I suppose we’ve just carried on tradition. It’s what we knew. If someone wanted my help, I gave it, that’s it! All you can hope is that it’s paid forward along the line I suppose. People would know me best for the Christmas Lights for the Mercy Cancer Unit. The way I look at it is that donations received for cancer research in the past 20 years have benefitted me and if I can benefit even one person in the future from the Christmas lights donations, then it’s all worth it, isn’t it?”
Micheál de Buitléir, Chairperson on the Youghal Branch of Comhaltas, out Pat‘s name forward to Cllr Mary Linehan Foley for the Award nomination. He said, “The story of Pat Carey’s influences for the greater good doesn’t stop here at Brù na Si. The fact that Pat is now nominated for the County Mayor’s Volunteer Award is truly a triumph over adversity. He has proved that volunteering (selfless giving) is goodness in its essence. He has defined volunteering. Pat is the eternal foot soldier and he is constantly operating as a contributor to the common good. Pat Carey will never seek to be the Chairman or the boss. Pat prefers to do his talking by his actions. He instinctively knows what to do and when to do it.”
There are so many charities and worthwhile causes that Pat, quietly yet determinedly, put his shoulder to wheel for in town that it is impossible, within the confines of an article, to list all the accolades, congratulations and thank you messages that have been received here for him”. Suffice to say there have been many, all in the same vein as the words of Michéal.
Linda at CRY104fm said,” Pat is always great to help out with ticket sales and bucket collections anytime we have an event. It’s generally a thankless, but very necessary part of fundraising, and Pat does it willing and voluntarily every time without complaint or ceremony. Everyone at CRY wishes him the very best of luck at the Awards and pass on our sincere thanks officially for all his help.”
Mayor of Cork County, Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy will be honouring all nominees in County Hall on Monday, 15 April at 6pm where eleven awards will be given out from nominations covering areas in North, South and West Cork, including one overall Community and Voluntary Group Award as well as one individual award. Best of luck and well deserved Pat, from everyone at The East Cork Journal.