Taking place at the start of December, the Volunteer Ireland Awards hosted by Volunteer Ireland, occurred for another year.
The awards celebrate ordinary people’s outstanding contributions in the voluntary sector across Ireland.
Anyone is able to nominate a volunteer who they deem worthy of recognition. With the exception of the Volunteer Manager category, those nominated are required to be a volunteer.
The awards are open to volunteers of all ages who are involved with Irish volunteer organisations.
There are ten categories for each award granted, along with a commendation for Volunteer Manager of the Year.
One truly exceptional volunteer receives the Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year Award, named in memory of the co-founder of Aislinn Education and Support Centre.
The 10 Category Winners were as follows:
Animals & Environment: Suzanne O’Neill – Sean Walsh Memorial Park, Dublin.
Arts, Culture & Media: Treasa Martin – Ballymun Local Community, Dublin.
Campaigning & Awareness Raising: Mohammed Rafique – Rohingya Council, Carlow.
Children & Youth: James Dempsey – Big Picture Youth Cafe, Dublin.
Community: Patricia Lynch – Dunshaughlin Local Community, Meath.
Health & Disability: Mae Murphy – Drumkill Day Care Centre, Monaghan.
Safety and Emergency Services: Michael Cardiff – St John Ambulance Ballyfermot, Dublin.
Social Work and Social Inclusion: George and Mary Sugrue – Chernobyl Children International, Kerry.
Sports & Recreation: Benny Grogan – WATCH Cycling Club, Louth.
Outstanding Group: Ballyphehane & Togher Community Arts & Crafts Initiative, Cork.
Volunteer Manager of the year:
Eithne Kiely – Sligo Social Services, Sligo.
Volunteer of the Year:
Sr Patricia Wall – Three organisations to support the Slieveardagh community, Tipperary.