Maeve to be Kilkenny’s community champion

Local woman Maeve Magnier has been shortlisted as the Kilkenny nominee for Calor’s Community Champion initiative.

Local woman Maeve Magnier has been shortlisted as the Kilkenny nominee for Calor’s Community Champion initiative.

Following several weeks of intense nominating, Calor received entries from every corner of Kilkenny. The shortlist of nominees for the inaugural Community Champion 2012 was announced last week.

Maeve Magnier is a volunteer with the Carlow/Kilkenny branch of the Samaritans, where she is is a lead volunteer in dealing with over 10,000 calls per year, and communicates with over 1,000 people via email providing emotional and social support. She provides support seven days a week, and has continued to do so for the last 18 years.

Maeve was branch director from 2001-2004. Her nominator says that she epitomises the quintessential Samaritan, she is a caring person who really listens, and is totally unselfish with her time.

“My journey in Samaritans has been very varied,” says Maeve.

“I started as a volunteer doing my weekly duties and continue so. I was the second director of the branch, a responsibility which I found very rewarding, the duties of which were in addition to my role as a volunteer. It involved traveling to the UK twice yearly to the general council. I then became a Regional Support Officer and became involved in setting up the first Listener Scheme in prisons.”

The public can now support Maeve to help her be in with a chance to be crowned Community Champion 2012 and make Kilkenny the home of this year’s winner of the competition. The winner of the Calor Community Champion 2012 will receive €1,500 and a bursary of €7,500 to give to their nominated charity or local organisation. Calor is also giving €500 for the person or organisation that nominated them.

Voting is now open to each and every member of the public through the Calor Facebook page. To support Maeve and play your part in helping her to be recognised as the first Calor Community Champion could not be easier: Simply visit the gallery of nominees at

The public will have until August 20 to vote, and the top four local champions and two wildcards will make it through to the final phase.

Speaking at the shortlist announcement, Hector Ó hEochagáin, TV personality and head of the Judging Panel said he had been heartened by the stories of unseen work going on across local communities.

“This initiative has been a platform to shed light on these truly deserving people, like Maeve Magnier here in Kilkenny,” he said.

“We now have a gallery of what can only be described as real life community heroes. Now it is time to see what each county is truly made of and who the best supporters are, so visit the Gallery of Nominees and get voting today.”