A highlight of the garda seminar was the presentation of Community Awards to a number of people who had been recommended by the gardai themselves for recognition. They were all lauded as true community activists who do a huge amount of vital work in their own areas.
Barry Murphy, Kilbredy, Killenaule, was nominated by the Divisional Traffic Corps for his assistance in delivering the Traffic Safety Programme to schools. Following his involvement in a single vehicle collision that resulted in life changing injuries, he has since spoken to over 700 students on the importance of road safety.
Teresa Hinchy was nominated by the gardai in Tipperary for her work as secretary of Cappawhite Community Text Alert. She is also involved in Multeen Tourism, Tipperary Community Services Centre, Community Employment Scheme, Meals on Wheels, Cappawhite Tidy Towns while she has also been in charge of the distribution of emergency Personal Pendant alarms in Cappa’ and Tipp town.
Bill Coffey from Loughloher, Cahir was nominated for his role in starting the Cahir District Older Persons Christmas Party over ten years ago, and remains a key organiser of the event which is co-ordinated by Cahir gardai. He is also chairman of Cahir Text Alert and involved in many other charity and voluntary groups.
Eamon Griffin from Riordan’s Hill, Fethard Road, Clonmel was nominated for his work with St. Vincent de Paul - an involvement stretching back 28 years while he has been Area President for the last five.
He was instrumental in establishing a bookshop at Mulcahy House to raise funds for the society as well as a Community Employment Scheme that provided fifteen part-time jobs and one full-time supervisor. He also formed an Education Committee to help young people avail of third level education.
Sr. Mary Walsh was honoured for her outstanding work with the Spafield Family Resource Centre in Cashel to which she has devoted much time and energy while she has also been actively involved in the Cashel Boxing Club which has proved to be a great amenity for young people in the town.
Also honoured on the night were Phil Jordan, Thurles, for his support for elderly neighbours; John Hogan, Roscrea, for being the backbone of community activity in Killavilla; and Martin Langton, Nenagh, for his work on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch.