A Cork school has highlighted the important role of volunteers within the school over the past 40 years.
St Paul’s Special School in Montenotte recently held an awards day for pupils, former staff and volunteers who contribute to the school.
Padraig Ahern and Dympna Hyland received the inaugural Jerry Buttimer ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award at the event.
The award was named after the Cork Senator who recently retired as chairperson of the school following 20 years at the helm.
Mr Ahern began working at St Paul's in 1972 while Ms Hyland joined in 1979.
School principal Anne Hartnett described them as treasured members of staff throughout their careers in St Paul's.
While both have since retired, they remain involved in the school.
“They remained involved with Special Olympics following their respective retirements and continue to train pupils in the school every single Friday,” said Ms Hartnett.
“We would be lost without them.” As well as honouring volunteers, St Paul’s used the awards day to honour students for their contribution both within and outside the school.
“The awards are held annually to acknowledge the great progress our pupils make,” said Ms Hartnett.
The awards up for grabs include a Sports Star of the Year accolade, the Noel Higgins Friendship Award and the Personal Achievement Award.
Tim Hegney claimed the St Luke's Bowling Club Sports Award while the Personal Achievement Award went to Daniel Lloyd and Sean Tyrell received the Noel Higgins Friendship Award from the man himself.