Lord Mayor Presents Good Citizen Awards to Dublin’s Hidden Heroes

An tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh will present eight Good Citizen Awards and one Lifetime Volunteer Award at a reception tonight in the Round at the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2.
The Good Citizen Awards aim to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution made to Dublin city by innumerable hidden heroes in our communities.
Over 300 nominations were received from the public and they were shortlisted down to 9 winners by the independent adjudication panel.
Here is a list of the winners in each of the nine categories:

  • Age Friendly – Esther McGrath
  • Arts & Culture – Jimmy Bolger
  • Children & Youth – Elizabeth O’ Connor
  • Community & Neighbourhood – Eileen Adams
  • Disability – Sandra Dillon
  • New Communities – Marius Marosan
  • Social Inclusion – J.P. Swaine
  • Sports & Recreation – Pat Hooper
  • Lifetime Volunteer – Gerry Fay

Speaking about the Good Citizen Awards, An tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhalaigh said “I am delighted to present these awards which acknowledge and celebrate Dublin’s Hidden Heroes and the extraordinary work that they do in the communities where they live. Tugann na duaiseanna seo aitheantas dár gcuid laochra éachtacha a mhaireann go hiondúil faoi cheilt Tréaslaím libh.  Go gcúitítear bhur shaothar libh.”

Councillor Mary Freehill who proposed the award commented “I proposed and initiated the Dublin City Good Citizens Award because I see every day through my political work as a Councillor, the impact the goodness of volunteers has on our communities which adds so much to the social capital of our city.  This is my way of saying thank you to these volunteers.”

Keith Duffy who is MC at the awards ceremony tonight said, “I am delighted to be involved with the Good Citizen Awards and I congratulate Dublin City Council for acknowledging the great work that each of these winners do in their own communities.”

Winners of the award were presented with a specially commissioned Good Citizen Award pin, which was designed by Seamus Gill, one of Ireland’s foremost jewellery designers.

Kevin McFeely will syndicate photographs to the picture desks after the event.


For further information contact:

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Notes to the Editor:

Winners of the 2016 Good Citizen Awards:

Esther McGrath is the winner of the Age Friendly Award. Esther is from Donnybrook and she volunteers with the Beech Hill Community Group. She enjoys working with elderly people in her locality and says she is “honoured to be nominated but happy just doing the work as a volunteer. I get great pleasure out of it.”

Jimmy Bolger is the winner of the Arts and Culture Award. Jimmy lives with his family in Crumlin and volunteers with the Crumlin Youth Band. Their work involves engaging young people in the area to get involved with music, through the brass band which has been in existence since 1990. Speaking about the work he does he says “we take kids off the corner and teach them how to read music and play instruments. In years to come the music will stand to them.”

Elizabeth O’Connor is the winner of the Children & Youth Award. Elizabeth works in the Liberties and runs a breakfast club and an after school club there for local children. She also runs a summer camp and has been doing this work for over 20 years. “There’s a great sense of community here in the Liberties and I just love working with the kids, I suppose you could say it’s my calling.”

Eileen Adams is the winner of the Community & Neighbourhood Award. Eileen has lived in Ballymun for over 40 years and does a lot of voluntary work in the community. She’s on the board of the Poppintree Youth Centre where they work on prevention, keeping the kids from getting into trouble in as far as possible. She also volunteers with Work4U, for people with disabilities and Age Action. “I’m kind of a busy bee, part of a team and I just love helping people. The results we get can be amazing” says Eileen.

Sandra Dillon is the winner of the Disability Award. Sandra is from Glasnevin and she volunteers as a See Change Ambassador in the area of mental health with the Suicide Support and Prevention Network.  She works with children with special needs and is involved with a local horse-riding stable management therapy project and allotments. “I never knew I was missing out until I started to volunteer. It brought back the laughter, it empowered me, and gave me a lot of confidence” says Sandra.

Marius Marosan is the winner of the New Communities Award. Marius is originally from Romania and he works as a volunteer within the Romanian community living in Ireland. He helps through translation, information, form filling and assisting people in whatever way they need. Marius remarked “When I came to Ireland you couldn’t find anyone to help you for free, you always had to pay. It’s nice for people when they come to a foreign country to know that you can ask a question and get an answer without it having to cost you anything.”

P. Swaine is the winner of the Social Inclusion Award. J. P. is the co-founder and director of the First Fortnight Mental Health Charity. He is a mental health professional, with a background in arts, and his work with the Charity is voluntary. The Charity organise an annual Arts Festival and an art psychotherapy service. Speaking about his nomination for the Award he said “I’m naturally inclined to downplay these things, but in a year when we’re commemorating 1916 and thinking a lot about citizenship, it means something to be nominated for this award. There’s a lot to be said for civic responsibility and if that means I’m the guy who puts all his spare time into something like this, then that’s something to be proud of."

Pat Hooper is the winner of the Sports & Recreation Award. Pat is a former Olympic athlete and Irish marathon champion. He represented Ireland in the 1980 Moscow Olympics and he has been involved in Raheny Shamrock Athletic Club his whole life. Pat is also the founder and race director of the Axa Raheny 5 Mile Road Race, which is the biggest sporting event held in the Raheny area. “I was thrilled to get the nomination. It’s nice to get a bit of recognition. If I win, in the football parlance, I’ll be over the moon.”

Gerry Fay is the winner of the Lifetime Volunteer Award. Gerry has been the chairman of the North Wall Community Association for over 30 years. During that time he has been a strong advocate for the local community for the North Wall / Sheriff Street area in relation to a number of issues including housing, jobs, education and the redevelopment of the North Wall community. “I have no idea why I’ve been nominated for this award to be honest; I was hoping you could tell me.”