Kilkenny's Concern volunteers praised by President Michael D. Higgins

Kilkenny woman Mary Conway was among those recognised on the night for her contribution to the charity

Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny's Concern volunteers praised by President Michael D. Higgins

Mary Conway (right) from Freshford Road pictured with Sabina Higgins and President Michael D Higgins

Kilkenny native Mary Conway and the county's Concern volunteers have been praised by President Michael D. Higgins.

Concern Worldwide has paid tribute to the generosity and compassion of the Kilkenny public after being honoured by President Higgins at a special 50th anniversary event at Áras an Uachtaráin.

Over 170 volunteers, supporters and staff were among the invited guests at the event last Tuesday, including one Kilkenny resident who has heavily contributed to the charity’s work over the years.

Mary Conway (nee Considine) from Freshford Road is a former member of the Concern Council and took over the coordination of the Concern Christmas Flag Day in 2013.

Prior to that, Mary worked overseas in Liberia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia before moving to Concern Worldwide’s head office in Dublin, where she was based until 2000.

Concern CEO Dominic MacSorley paid tribute to the incredible generosity of the Irish public, which has helped the organisation to reach many millions of people over the past 50 years.

“The response of the Irish public was phenomenal. Images of war and starvation broadcast into homes across Ireland tapped into the instinctual empathy and generosity of a nation and this is what has continued to sustain Concern over the past 50 years.”

President Higgins added that Concern has been “to the forefront of addressing the great issues of our time”.

“Through your work you crafted a vital bridge between the Irish people and some of the poorest people in our world.

“Thank you all those of you who have worked for and with Concern over the years for your compassion, your courage, and your dedication to supporting the lives and building the capacity of the poorest people of the world.”

Founded in 1968 in response to devastating famine in the breakaway state of Biafra in Nigeria, Concern now reaches over 26 million people in 26 of the world’s poorest countries last year.

Concern has a number of events planned to mark the 50th anniversary of the organisation over the year, including an international conference on conflict to take place in Dublin in September.