Denis O’Donovan was awarded for his charity work through his ink cartridge recycling campaign and for his voluntary work in the community.
From 2011 to 2018 he raised €150,000 for cancer charities, the bulk of which went to St Theresa’s Oncology Ward at the Mercy University Hospital, in memory of his late wife Angela, by collecting and recycling printer cartridges throughout Munster in conjunction with HP.
When the contract ended with HP in 2018, Denis signed up with Suas Educational Development working as a volunteer to help kids with their literacy and numeracy at Scoil Padre Pio in Churchfield which he described as “just fantastic” and something he “really fell in love with”.
When Covid-19 hit, he also helped to supply tablets and reconditioned laptops for students at the school in conjunction with Gurranabraher Credit Union, so all students had access to online learning.
Mr O’Donovan is now involved in another programme that seeks to help improve computer infrastructure and facilities at Scoil Padre Pio and Morning Star NS in Ballyphehane.
He is calling on companies that may be changing out their computers to donate them to be upgraded and used in both schools.
He said that Covid-19 has been “hard going” for him as he is usually out and about meeting people.
At my age you start to realise you haven’t an awful lot left to live, now I’ve had a great life but all of a sudden every year and every day is important and when you can’t do the things you want to do it’s tougher.
He said, however, that giving back to the community has kept him motivated and feeling 72 going on 50.
He said that receiving his Civic Award was “fantastic” and was made even more special by having his family there with him, including his first grandchild.
“None of this would have been possible without the support of my late wife Angela and in later years the help and support of my son John and daughter Sarah,” he said.