The winners of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards have been announced during a broadcast on Cork City Council’s YouTube.
Each year six people receive Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards in recognition of their efforts to improve the community.
Breaking with the usual award ceremony format due to the pandemic, each individual award winner was presented with their award separately and the presentations filmed.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh, said: “Cork people have always been known for their strong ties to their community but the unity of purpose that I have seen in our communities over the past 15 months demonstrates that even in times of great uncertainty we are a city of communities and those communities have adapted in ways deserving of our admiration and thanks.”
The oldest recipient of this year’s Civic Awards was Joe Mullane and the youngest recipient was eight-year-old Oliver Lynch.
87-year-old Joe Mullane, who has been involved in the community of Mayfield for years, has received his award for his commitment to youth and community through his work with Mayfield No Name Club.
He was named the Honorary Ambassador of the No Name Club in September of last year, after holding the title of Vice President twice and National President back in 2004.
Mr Mullane got involved in GAA in Mayfield at a time when the Government set up housing schemes in Togher, The Glen and Mayfield which drew thousands to Mayfield when they were built in 1968.
As a result, there was an influx of young people into the community but there were no activities for them to get involved in.
Mr Mullane gave a lending hand to the club and became secretary of the underage committee, going door-to-door gathering the names and ages of the kids to set up street leagues.
We had hundreds of young people playing hurling and football on a patch of ground in the heart of Mayfield, with no goalposts, we tied a crossbar onto a post from the ground.
“After a few years we entered young people into underage competitions and we were pretty successful in our own B section at the time,” he said.
The Community Games were then set up in 1975 which saw hundreds of young people in Mayfield compete.
Mr Mullane became secretary of the Community Games in 1975 and held the title up to 2003.
He then got involved in further work in the community through the community association which led to the establishment of the No Name Club in 1998.
Now in its 23rd year, the club has seen almost a thousand young people aged between 15 and 18 ss through the club.
“Ever since the No Name Club was set up in Kilkenny in 1978 and following its expansion countrywide in 1983 there has been a significant impact on the lives of its members in clubs throughout the country.
The foresight, courage and commitments of the founding members Fr Tom Murphy, Eamonn Doyle and Eddie Kehir the great hurler have given the young people who joined the club the rich legacy of a lifestyle that has improved the quality of life for the young people, their families and their communities.
“The volunteers are doing trojan work in providing an alternative to young people to socialise with their peers in a safe environment and avoid the dangers of getting involved in alcohol and drugs at a young age,” he said.
He said that the No Name Club in Mayfield is a “success story” and that it has given kids a safe space where they would otherwise have been “pushed aside”.
He said that he was “shocked” to hear the news of his award and said that he was “extremely proud” of all those who have been involved in the club down through the years.