Don O’Leary announced as one of six recipients of the 2022 Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher, made the announcement at a full meeting of Cork City Council this evening.
Don O’Leary announced as one of six recipients of the 2022 Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards

The Director of the Cork Life Centre, Don O’Leary, has been announced as one of the six recipients of the 2022 Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards. Picture: Dan Linehan

The Director of the Cork Life Centre, Don O’Leary, has been announced as one of the six recipients of the 2022 Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards.

Each year six people receive Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards in recognition of their efforts to improve the lot of the community.

At a full meeting of Cork City Council this evening, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher, said that in a “break from tradition” he was announcing one of those awards earlier than expected.

He said the accolade is to “honour a man who has been enormously influential in the education process across the city” and a man who, along with his team at the Cork Life Centre, has “ensured that young people who are facing challenges in their lives do not lose out on an education”.

“He has guided hundreds of young people facing many mental health issues or recovering from trauma to a place where they can visualise the future for themselves and can self-motivate and continue their education.

“By providing wrap-around services for these young people, he has nurtured their self-esteem, their self-belief and has given them the keys to their future.

“I am delighted to announce here tonight that Don O’Leary is one of my six recipients of the 2022 Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards for his work in the Cork Life Centre,” the Lord Mayor continued.

Cork Life Centre, which is located in Sunday's Well, offers an alternative learning environment to young people aged between 12 and 18 who find themselves outside the mainstream education system.

In November, Mr O’Leary was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts from University College Cork in acknowledgement of his impact and the invaluable work undertaken by the Cork Life Centre since it was established in 2000.

Last month, Mr O’Leary spoke publicly for the first time about his terminal cancer diagnosis to The Echo’s Donal O’Keeffe.

The Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards were announced last year in May.

The 2021 recipients were Oliver Lynch, for of his commitment to raising funds for Cork University Hospital Charity, Enable Ireland and Dogs for the Disabled; Joe Mullane, for his commitment to youth and community through his work with Mayfield No Name Club; Michael O’Brien, for his contribution to Cork boxing through his role as president of Cork County Boxing Board; Denis O’Donovan, for his charity work through his ink cartridge recycling campaign and for his voluntary work in the community; Margaret O’Driscoll, who has cared for babies and families over her 40-year career as a neonatal midwife and Pat Stacey, for his community and volunteering work through Glanmire Area Community Association.

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