The search for the 2019 Offaly Association (Dublin) Person of the Year is on.
The hunt was launched by the Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, Cllr. Peter Ormond at a press conference in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore on Wednesday evening last.
The Offaly Person of the Year, now in its 32nd year, is co-ordinated by a sub committee of the Offaly Association (Dublin).
The people of the Faithful County are invited to nominate their candidate of choice by completing the coupon that appears in this week’s edition.
Offalians are also invited to submit their nominations for the Unsung Hero of Offaly, an honour which will also be presented at the Offaly Association’s gala dinner dance in the Bridge House Hotel on Saturday, March 28 next.
Nominations must be submitted by the closing date of Friday, January 10 2020 to the organising committee Secretary Ger Scully, Convent View, Tullamore.
Speaking at last Wednesday’s launch, the newly elected Chairperson of the Offaly Association, Jennifer Guinan paid tribute to the award’s sponsor Coolderry native, Noel Tynan, proprietor of the Celt Lodge Hotel and Le Bon Crubeen restaurant in Talbot St, Dublin 1.
At the outset of formalities Master of Ceremonies Ger Scully extended a special welcome to all those present including Deputy Carol Nolan, Cllr Peter Ormond, Cllr Neil Feighery, Cllr Sean O’Brien, Cllr Declan Harvey, Cllr Tony McCormack, P.J. Lynam, PRO of the Tullamore Tractor Run committee and Chairman of the James O’Connor FF cumann, , Roger Guiney, President, Tullamore Chamber of Commerce, Martin O’Connor, vice-Chairman Tullamore St Patrick’s Day Parade committee, past award recipients, Brenda Kiernan and Freda Kinnarney of Tullamore Show and legendary footballer, Matt Connor.
Apologies were received from Deputies Marcella Corcorcan Kennedy, Barry Cowen and Brian Stanley, the CEO of Offaly County Council, Anna Marie Delaney, Offaly Association Treasurer, Ann Carey and a number of past recipients of the awards.
The new Association Chairperson, Jennifer Guinan, a native of Killyon, explained that the Offaly Association had been rejuvenated with a new committee and all were looking forward to working with the sub committee charged with co-ordinating the Person of the Year award.
She thanked everyone for their support and paid tribute to the media for their coverage of the award and the activities of the Association.
“The Offaly Person of the Year is a prestigious award and the only one of its kind in the county. It is an award that is presented to the winner who has been nominated by the people of the county. I would encourage everyone to use the nomination forms which will be in the local newspapers over the coming weeks to nominate who they think is deserving of the award and also who they think should be named the Unsung Hero of Offaly,”outlined Ms Guinan..
Speaking on behalf of the Tullamore Show, last year’s award recipients, the body’s Chairperson Brenda Kiernan said “it was a great honour for the Tullamore Show to be selected as the 2018 winner and the award takes pride of place in the show office.
“Freda Kinnarney and I collected the award last year on behalf of a very proud executive committee and very proud volunteers who make the show.”
“As Jennifer said it is important that the people of Offaly use the nomination forms in the local newspapers to nominate who they believe should be the 2019 Offaly Person of the Year,” said Brenda.
Formally launching the 2019 Offaly Person of the Year award, Cllr. Peter Ormond wished Jennifer Guinan every success in her role as the Chairperson of the Offaly Association.
”The Association has for many years provided invaluable assistance to Offaly people living in Dublin and it has continued the wonderful tradition of hosting the Offaly Person of the Year award,” stressed the Shinrone man.
He continued: “We are here tonight to launch this very prestigious award which is in it’s 32nd year. The list of previous winners is astounding and ever person on that list deserved to win the award.
M.C. Ger Scully brought the proceedings to a close by remembering a former recipient of the award, businessman and founder of Carroll Meats, Seamus Carroll who passed away earlier this year and by wishing former Taoiseach and award recipient, Brian Cowen a speedy recovery from his recent illness.