Last Friday night was a very special occasion for SECAD. It presented four retiring Board Members with beautiful images of Ballycotton Lighthouse as a token of respect, esteem and gratitude for their many years of service and dedication.
JJ Harty, Barbara Murray, John Horgan and Dick Harney were thanked sincerely by Maurice Smiddy, SECAD Chairperson, and Ryan Howard, SECAD CEO. They praised all four for their volunteering service to SECAD, as board and committee members.
SECAD over the past year supported 119 businesses, 141 people to prepare to prepare for business start-up, 825 people to return to employment, investing in 147 community projects and supported the development of 31 environmental actions including creating 5,000 square meters of pollinator corridors to positively impact climate change from a community-up approach.
Mr. JJ Harty was singled out for separate praise by Mr Howard on behalf of the board and staff of SECAD who said “JJ has served in nearly every role on our Board over 23 years. He has a fantastic passion for what we do, is highly respected for his dedication to make SECAD one of Europe’s most effective and innovative Local Development Organisations. JJ also has a passion for his horses, so we have arranged a commissioned piece for him with a fantastic animal artist Susan Mills, just to say thanks JJ for everything you have given to SECAD over the years - it will always be deeply appreciated”.
Mr Harty as always in his cool unassuming manner took it all in his stride, even though obviously delighted with the presentation said “It so important to volunteer and support groups like SECAD that can bring vibrancy to rural areas. It takes time to build but SECAD today has underpinned the viability and ability of communities to begin to address challenges to be better places to grow, live and work. I am particularly delighted that we recognise the image of the lighthouse as SECAD has certainly been a beacon of light for all of the communities we serve locally and across Ireland. It’s been a privilege”.
SECAD Partnership provides a range of innovative and effective rural development and social inclusion supports to motivate and empower local communities to create a more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive society.