Br Ben Cusack, founder of Edmund Rice Youth Club, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, has been named as Cork Person of the Month for February.
Br Ben was the principal of Sullivan’s Quay CBS, which later became Coláiste Éamann Rís on St Patrick's Road in Ballyphehane, for 25 years between 1981 and 2006.
He also founded their famous Edmund Rice Youth Club, better known as the 'Bro’s Club' after Br Ben, which is still going strong.
Celebrating four decades this year, many generations, in some cases of the same families, have grown up with and attended the youth club, including members of bands such as The Sultans of Ping FC and The Frank and Walters.
In 1994, Br Ben received an honorary master's degree from University College Cork (UCC) to mark his contribution to young people and to education.
He was also the recipient of a Lord Mayor’s Award from Cork City Council, which he received in 2005.
His latest accolade seeks to recognise his contribution to education and youth mentoring over the past 40 years in Cork.
Originally from Waterford, Br Ben has been living in Cork since 1980.
He is an avid sports fan, especially of Waterford hurling and is also involved with St Finbarr's Hurling and Football Club in Cork.
The Cork Person of the Month and Cork Person of the Year awards scheme, now in its 28th year, was launched by the then Lord Mayor of Cork, Micheál Martin, back in 1993.
"Our award scheme celebrates Cork’s greatest asset - our people," commented Mr O’Callaghan.
Double World and European Rowing Champion Sanita Pušpure was chosen as Cork Person of the Year for 2020.
Br Ben will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year for 2021, with the other Persons of the Month chosen throughout 2021.
The winner will be announced at an awards lunch held at Rochestown Park Hotel at the end of the year.
Partners of the awards scheme are the Irish Examiner/The Echo; RTÉ; Southern; Lexus Cork; AM O’Sullivan PR; Cork Crystal; Tony O’Connell Photography; CAVS; Cork County Council; Cork City Council; Manus O’Callaghan.