The Wicklow Rotary Club, Nell Healy People of the Year Awards took place last Friday night at the Grand Hotel in Wicklow town.
Below we feature the winners.
Mick Higgins, Sportsperson of the Year
Mick has been synonymous with Wicklow rugby since his own playing days back in the 1970’s.
He coached a hugely successful youth’s side which went on to win all Ireland cups at under 16 and under 18 levels in 2007 and 2009 respectively.
Quite a number of this side also formed the backbone of last year’s outstanding Provincial Towns Cup winning team who have gone on again this season to win Division 1B which means they will be playing in the top Division 1A next season for the first time in the clubs history.
Mick’s selfless dedication as a coach and his capacity to convince young players to be the best they can be makes Mick an exceptional person and a true champion.
George O’Brien, Joint Community Support Person of the Year
George was one of the founding members of Vartry Rowing Club in 2011.
But George’s achievements are not confined to his sporting prowess.
His relentless capacity to raise funds for charitable causes and his ability to motivate others to support his endeavours is exceptional.
He gives selflessly of his time as has raised much needed funds for causes such as Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Wicklow Hospice and the Marie Keating Foundation among many others.
George, you truly are a credit to your club and your community.
Michael O’Sullivan, Joint Community Support Person of the Year
Michael is well known and respected across the community both through his construction business and through his unflinching support for his local community.
The list of community based projects and causes supported by Michael is endless and he goes about providing this support without seeking any praise or acknowledgment other than sharing the success with his community.
He has provided support for GAA and soccer in Rathnew through improved playing facilities and has supported a major renovation of the local church in Rathnew to name but a small number of the projects he has supported.
There are also many stories about how Michael has helped people in a personal capacity.
Yet, Among Michael’s strengths are his modesty and his approachability which makes him a true gentleman but above all, Michael is a credit to his community.
Ray Collard, Volunteer of the Year
Ray has served his community selflessly for over twenty years.
He is well known across the community for his dedicated work in helping others less fortunate than himself through his fund raising activities and help on the door step.
He is a tireless worker with the St. Vincent De Paul Society and still manages to keep the Church in Rathnew in pristine condition.
Ray will celebrate his 80th Birthday next month (April) and all of us here wish you a happy birthday and may we celebrate your birthdays for many years to come.
Ray Collard, you are a true gentleman and a credit to your community.
Pat Swan, International Person of the Year
Pat is a member of Wicklow Bay Sea Angling Club who will represent Ireland in the World Boat Championships in Montenegro in September and the Home Nations Championships in 2017.
Pat has vast experience in his sport and was a member of Boat Team Ireland in 2014 and 2016.
Not alone will Pat be representing Ireland this year in Montenegro but he will also be captaining the Ireland team.
This is a fantastic honour for a man whose passion for fishing is exceeded only by his ability to compete at the highest level.
Pat Swan you are a credit to your sport and your community.
Erika Dunne, Young Person of the Year
Erika is involved in an incredible number of initiatives and projects associated with her School and the community in general, in particular with youth associated activities.
She is chairperson of her school council and is always at hand to help others and support worthy causes.
Erika won the Rotary Youth Leadership award at her school level in 2015 and participated in the BT Young Scientist exhibition successively from 2012 to 2015.
She fundraised €35,000 for the School of St. Jude in Tanzania and visited the school where she taught the pupils English for a short period. Erika is a caring person who goes out of her way to help others.
Erika you are an exceptional person and a credit to your community.
The Maguire Family, Arts and Culture Group of the Year
For a number of years the Maguire family have built on their reputation to become a formidable force in our musical lives.
The Maguire’s all started playing traditional Irish music at a young age and music soon became the focus of family life in the Maguire household.
They recently launched a debut album with six of the eleven tracks being their own compositions.
The Maguire’s have featured on the Ray Darcy show and played in both festivals and concerts in many countries.
Their dedication to music is total and our community is proud to claim them as our own.
Maguire Family you truly are a credit to your art and your community