Cashel Lions Club celebrated their fiftieth year with a gala dinner in the Cashel Palace Hotel on Friday night last. The club was chartered on January 23, 1961 and held its first dinner in Cahir House Hotel on February 6 that year. Surgeon Tim Noonan was the first president and Dermot O'Brien and Dr. John Osborne were the vice-presidents. Des Kennedy was secretary. In all there were eighteen members and sadly there are no survivors from the group.
The Lions motto is 'We Serve' and the service they offer is to the less needy in the community. They seek out and help those in need and take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
In recognition of their service to the community the club was afforded a civic reception by Cashel Town Council on Friday evening. Mayor Michael Browne welcomed the members and their partners to the Council Chamber and congratulated them on their work. He mentioned some of the services they provide for the community of Cashel.
"One of these activities which really impresses me is the Corby Bursary Scheme. This provides funding for Third Level students going to college for the first year. This is a laudable project since education is so important in our society.
"There are many other projects which help people out with difficulties in the course of the year, especially at Christmas time when life can be difficult for so many people.
"I want to thank you for providing these services to this community and for the discreet and caring way you carry out your work."
The Mayor particularly welcomed the District Governor of the Lions of Ireland, Terence Mangan of Ennis. He was specially pleased to welcome him the Cashel and wished him an enjoyable stay. His proposition to afford a civic reception to the club was seconded by the vice-chair of the Council, Maribel Wood.
Town Clerk, Marie McGivern, added her words of welcome to the Lions and praised them for their work. She was delighted to learn that the organisation had nothing to do with rugby, had women members and was secular in its outlook.
"The existence of the Lions Club in Cashel has, in no small way, contributed to the betterment of the community and the solving of problems. You have helped, and continue to help where help is needed.
"The dedication of the men and women in your club who over the past 50 years have volunteered their time to humanitarian causes in the community is to be commended. As people who live in the community you are best positioned to know who needs help and why.
"In short, as members of an international organisation Cashel Lions Club have made a difference and provided practical help where and when needed in the local community," she said.
District Governor Mangan replied on behalf of the Lions and other speakers included Cllr Dan Dillon, who is a member of the club, Seamus King, who is president for the anniversary year, and Willie Fahey.
Also in attendance were members of the Dursley Lions Club from South-West England with whom Cashel is twinned. Later at the anniversary dinner, one of the members, Adrian Hutchins, presented a commemorative plaque to Louise McLoughlin, whose late mother, Catherine, was an active member of Cashel Lions Club and who visited Dursley on a number of occasions.
At the dinner which followed the civic reception, District Governor Mangan gave the keynote speech and contrasted the kind of Ireland that existed fifty year ago to today. Cashel Club President, Seamus King, also spoke and highlighted some of the activities of the Lions down the years. He also recalled the founding members and praised then for their forethought in setting up the club in Cashel, which was the fourth club to be formed in the country.
A most enjoyable evening was concluded with a fine sing song in the Buttery Bar.