Communities to be honoured for R116 rescue operation support

HOW Comharchumann Forbartha Ionad Deirbhile, Eachléim and the community of the Mullet Peninsula assisted the various agencies following the Rescue 116 helicopter crash on March 14 is to be highlighted next month, writes Tom Gillespie.

The Comharchumann and the community, together with the emergency services, are to be honoured at the 25th annual Mayo People of the Year Awards on November 25.

They will be among 15 others who will be singled out for their achievements at a gala banquet in Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar.

Four Irish Coastguard air crew - Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Captain Mark Duffy, winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciarán Smith - died when their helicopter struck the western end of Blackrock Island.

The bodies of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy have been recovered. However, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith are still missing eight months after the helicopter went down.

The award will be presented to representatives of the Comharchumann, the Mullet community, including the Coastguard, RNLI, An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces, Civil Defence, Air Corps, sub aqua clubs and local boatmen and crews.

Former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, will be presented with the Hall of Fame Award in recognition of his 42 years service as a public representative to his native Islanadeady, Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland and Europe where he was a member of the European Council of Ministers and President of the European Council of Ministers from January to June 2013.

He was first elected in November 1975 and has served as at TD, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Minister for Tourism and Trade and, most recently, as An Taoiseach from 2011 to 2017.

The awards are organised by Mayo RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.

All funds raised from the function go directly to the provision of services for RehabCare in Mayo.

Tickets for the presentation function are now available at €50 from Edel Cadden, Mayo RehabCare Centre, Breaffy Road, Castlebar.

The announcement of the recipients was made in Breaffy House Hotel by the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Councillor Richard Finn, Edel Cadden, RehabCare Mayo and Bernard Hughes, The Connaught Telegraph.

The full list of award winners is as follows

Hall of Fame Award: Enda Kenny TD

Young Person of the Year: Lisa Gallagher, Belmullet

Gradam na Gaeilge Award: Colmán Ó Raghallaigh, Claremorris

Sports Club of the Year Award: Ballina Athletic Club

Diaspora Award: Martin Grogan

Mayo Award 1: Comharchumann Forbartha Ionad Deirbhile, Eachléim, and the community of the Mullet Peninsula

Mayo Award 2: Marie Farrell, Linenhall Arts Centre.

Mayo Award 3: Brenda Quigg, Saddle Up For Epilepsy.

Mayo Award 4: Cycle to Save A Life group.

Mayo Award 5: Grainne Uaile Sub Aqua Club.

Mayo Award 6: John Kilkenny, Castlebar.

Mayo Award 7: Bernard Guthrie, Ballina.

Mayo Award 8: Fr. Brendan Hoban, Killala Diocese.

Mayo Award 9: Editorial team, Ballyheane Past and Present book

Mayo Award 10: Caitriona Ruane, Castlebar

Mayo Award 11: Helen O’Hara and Love Castlebar volunteers.

* See citations in next week's issue of The Connaught Telegraph.