KKB honours community heroes

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews

A variety of special awards were given out at last week’s KKB awards, to acknowledge certain people’s unique achievements.

The ‘Heroes in our Community awards’, sponsored by McDonalds, were given to people who have shown leadership in their community over many years. Christopher Pimm of McDonalds and KKB committee member Margaret Walsh presented prizes to winners Billy Murphy, Breda Clooney and Michael Hayes.

KKB committee member Maire Geary and Padraigin Ni Dubluchra of Conradh na Gaeilge presented a prize for ‘Best Use of The Irish language’. O’ Riada’s of Parliament street, O’ Ceallaigh of Parliament Street, the Watergate Theatre (Amhardaun Gheala) and Carraig Donn on High Street were the nominees, and it was the Watergate Theatre that emerged the winner.

KKB committee member Eileen Foley presented the prizes for the ‘Community Leadership Awards’. The awards went to The Bahai Faith community, The Lions Club and SOS on the Callan Road. They have all made themselves available for numerous litter picks and community clean-ups.

Local councillor Marie Fitzpatrick then presented the ‘Fitzpatrick Perpetual Shield for Community Effort’ – awarded to a community in Kilkenny who have tackled the problems in their community in a positive way. This year’s winner was the Newpark Family Resource Centre, who have addressed the problem of litter through an innovative scheme for junior litter pickers. The unemployed have also been active in this community through a garden scheme.

There was an especially poignant moment when the time came for the presentation of the ‘Brendan Lawless Memorial Environmental award’. A former chairman of Keep Kilkenny Beautiful, Brendan Lawless passed away earlier this year. He is fondly remembered for his artistic skills and his hand-painted signs throughout the city.

In his honour, his widow Pat Lawless presented the prize. It went to four local students – Joe Neill, Dara O’ Byrne, David O’ Gorman and Liam Jamieson. Through their work in Transition Year in CBS, and with the help of their teacher John O’ Neill, they built an environmental educational website called www.ecoploring.ie.

Lastly came the ‘Hall of Fame Award’ – a recognition of the contribution of citizens who have given their time and effort to the betterment of Kilkenny and the Tidy Towns movement. Judy Bridgeman announced the winners, while KKB chairman, David FitzGerald to made the presentations.

This year, it went to a group of people who, in 1985, helped win the National Tidy Towns overall award – Kilkenny’s first and only win in the competition. The Hall of Fame award was given to the members of the 1985 KKB committee in honour of their work.

They are: Claire Bourke, Margery Brady, Seamus Costello (RIP) represented by Marie Costello, Anna Crotty, Kieran Crotty, Mary Gaine, Denis Hamilton, Peggy Jacob, Frank Kavanagh, Brendan Lawless (RIP) represented by Pat Lawless, Sean Leahy, Pat Nolan, Eamon O’ Keeffe (RIP) represented by Maureen O’ Keeffe, Philip O’ Neill, Lilli Purcell (RIP) represented by John and Anne Purcell, Peter Seaver, and Pat Tynan.