THE cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Councillor Brendan Mulroy, has formally launched the 27th annual Mayo People of the Year Awards which are organised annually by RehabCare, Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph.
There are various categories in the awards and the Hall of Fame section, which was introduced 2004 to recognise the work of an individual or group who have given years of unstinting service to their organisation, community, county or country, will again be part of the proceedings.
In order to recognise the contribution of young people to society a young person or youth group of the year will be presented with an award at the gala banquet in Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar, on Friday night, November 22.
Councillor Mulroy, speaking of the Mayo Diaspora Award, said: “Scattered far and wide across the country and around the world are as many as 3.5 million people with the green and red of Mayo running through their veins.
“There are none prouder than Mayo people, fiercely loyal to home and passionate about their origins, regardless of where in the world they are.
“Their sense of place is strong and their love of home is clear. The Mayo Diaspora award is a mechanism to honour a member of our Diaspora who have contributed to their new communities while retaining strong links to their Mayo roots.
“The award is open to any member of the Mayo Diaspora who has achieved prominence or recognition in the area of business, commerce, industry, community, education, finance or sport.
“Likewise, a business community liaison award, initiated six years ago, will also be up for grabs in November. This is aimed at recognising the involvement of business in their local communities.”
In addition to this, he said, four Mayo People of the Year Awards will be presented at a banquet.
Councillor Mulroy continued: “Twelve years ago we introduced the Gradam na Gaeilge award - recognising the positive contribution that is being made by an individual in the promotion and furtherance of the Irish language and culture in Mayo.
“This section proved a tremendous success and we look forward to a large entry for this award.
“A Sports Club Award is aimed at community focused clubs with emphasis on youth development.
“Any person or organisation within Mayo who, in the view of the nominating person or organisation, has made an outstanding contribution at local level, can be put forward.
“Their attributes can range from leadership, job creation, youth projects, economic development, professional and cultural development, pioneering or outstanding work, in the education or environmental field.
“Likewise, those who work with the disabled or underprivileged or who have shown courage, persistence and dedication can be nominated.”
The closing date for the receipt of nominations is Friday, October 11, and the recipients will be announced on Wednesday, October 23.
Nomination forms are available from RehabCare, Breaffy Road, Castlebar, from offices of the Connaught Telegraph on Main Street. Castlebar and from Mayo County Council.