Mary Nolan Hickey was honoured by the Cathaoirleach and Members of Arklow Municipal District who hosted a Civic Reception in her honour on Wednesday last (25th April).
The event was attended by over 100 people representing An Garda Síochána, RNLI, Sea Scouts, First Responders, Firefighters, Rowing Club, Coastguard Units, local running clubs along with many of Mary’s family and friends.
Mary has become a hero locally and nationally after completing a lap of Ireland to raise money for the RNLI. 1506 miles were covered on her epic lap of the land which equates to 53 marathons in 94 days.
2018 is Mary’s 50th year in athletics which includes being the only Irish woman to complete all 38 Dublin Marathons. She has also completed a Marathon des Sables in Morocco which is known to be the toughest footrace on earth.
Speakers on the night included Michael Mordaunt, Chairman of the RNLI fundraising, who confirmed to the audience that in excess of €68,000 has been raised to date. Breda O ‘Loughlin Byrne also paid tribute to Mary on behalf of the backroom team.
Speaking at the event, the Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District, Cllr Tommy Annesley, congratulated Mary on her achievement and thanked all the locals clubs who had assisted her on her journey. He added: “Mary is a true Ambassador for Arklow, she not only did the lap of the map she has put Arklow on the map. “
Following a speech from Mary herself in which she highlighted the contribution made by everyone involved and thanked them sincerely, Cllr Tommy Annesley presented her with the Cathaoirleach’s Special Recognition Award for 2018. Mary then received a standing ovation from the attendees.
Local musician James Reid performed his latest new song, which was a tribute to Mary and her wonderful adventure in aid of the RNLI. The CD version will be released this coming Thursday at the Old Ship in Arklow with all proceeds going to the RNLI.
Arklow Municipal District introduced the annual Cathaoirleach’s Special Recognition Award in 2017 to recognise an outstanding contribution from an individual or group, the recipient is chosen by the Cathaoirleach.