Munster Football champions Dromcollogher-Broadford and a Parish Priest responsible for one of the most extensive collections of material on County Limerick were among a number of groups and individuals honoured at Limerick County Hall, Dooradoyle today.
Limerick County Council held six separate Civic Receptions, which is the highest accolade at its disposal for any individual, group or organisation. The Council also presented seven outgoing County Councillors with ‘Recognition of Achievement’ certificates for their contributions to community life as Public Representatives.
Among those in receipt of a Civic Reception was Dooradoyle Parish Priest Father John Leonard who recently donated 4,000 items from his personal collection to the University of Limerick Library. Regarded by academics as exceptional in its quality and variety, the collection includes books, periodicals, paintings, prints and engravings on Limerick City and County.
Other recipients of a Civic Reception included St. Joseph’s Foundation for helping people with disabilities for over 40 years, Dromcollogher-Broadford GAA Club for winning the Munster Senior Club Football Championship, Simon Baker for breaking the world record at the Dublin City Marathon for the fastest marathon ever completed on crutches, the Very Reverend Donal Canon McNamara, P.P. for his role as the Director of the Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage, and the Limerick Intermediate Hurling team for reaching the 2008 All Ireland Final.
Councillor John Gallahue, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council said that the Civic Receptions celebrated and acknowledged the contributions made to society by groups and individuals from throughout County Limerick.
Speaking during the Civic Reception for Father John Leonard, the Cathaoirleach said that the historical and literary importance of his collection had added greatly to the University of Limerick Library. He continued, “Rarely if ever has a community had its authors and its history collected so comprehensively. There is no doubt that the collection will serve as an important reference point for students, historians and members of the local community for many years to come. Father Leonard’s decision to donate his collection to the University is a demonstration of his generosity and love for his native City and County.”
Meanwhile, Councillor Gallahue described Simon Baker’s achievement in the Dublin City marathon as an “enormous source of pride and inspiration for the people of his adopted home of Castletroy, the wider community and every person with a disability.”
“What is most inspiring is the fact that Simon undertook to break the world record in aid of charity. As a result of his efforts The Bubble Gum Club, which looks after terminally ill children and children in crisis, received much-needed funds. I wish to pay tribute to Simon, and his family and friends who I am sure are his inspiration and have helped encourage him to turn his disability into an ability to deliver positive change for himself and others”, added the Cathaoirleach.
Today’s ceremony in Limerick County Hall also featured the presentation of ‘Recognition of Achievement’ certificates to seven outgoing County Councillors. The recipients included Councillor James Houlihan in appreciation of his 24 years’ service as a Public Representative; Councillor Eddie Creighton in honour of his contribution to the County during 18 years’ service as a Councillor; Councillors Cormac Hurley (seeking election to Limerick City Council in June 2009), John Gallahue, Pat McAuliffe and Noreen Ryan for their 10 years’ service as Public Representatives; and Councillor Tom Neville in honour and appreciation of his six years’ service as an elected member of Limerick County Council.
Councillor John Gallahue, who retires from political life next month, said, “I have found that while being a politician involves long hours of travel and even longer hours of work, it is a hugely rewarding job. To represent one’s community is an honour, and for me it has been an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
“Many people believe that politicians are society’s most powerful figures. However, as a local Councillor I know that this could not be further from the truth. The power and authority held by County Councillors has been entrusted to them by the people. By exercising their vote in the Local Elections every five years, it is clear that it is the people who hold the real power. Our job is to serve our local communities to the best of our ability”, concluded the Cathaoirleach.
Today’s ceremony took place following the final monthly meeting of Limerick County Council before the Local and European Elections on June 5th next.
Notes to Editors:
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