CORK Penny Dinners co-ordinator Caitríona Twomey is to receive the inaugural Lord Mayor’s community spirit award.
Ms Twomey, who has worked as voluntary co-ordinator of Penny Dinners for almost two decades, is to receive the award at a civic ceremony in City Hall on May 26. The Lord Mayor will also present a cultural award to sean-nós singer Seán Ó Sé on the night, as well as presenting civic awards to five people from across the city.
Speaking to The Echo, Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Colm Kelleher said he was delighted to bestow the inaugural Lord Mayor’s community spirit award on Ms Twomey.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to give the very first Lord Mayor’s community spirit award to Caitríona Twomey, for the incredible work she does with all of the volunteers in Penny Dinners,” Cllr Kelleher said.
“I personally think that Caitríona is Cork’s answer to Florence Nightingale, and I know she recently received the Cork Person of the Year Hall of Fame award, which she richly deserved, and this is just a small token of the esteem in which she is held in the city.
“Obviously, in Penny Dinners, Caitríona helps feed those in need, on a daily basis, but she’s also an agony aunt, a shoulder to cry on, and an open ear when she’s needed, and all out of the goodness of her heart.”
Ms Twomey said she was very honoured to receive the award on behalf of all of the Penny Dinners volunteers.
“It’s a big honour, and totally unexpected, but I’m very grateful to receive this honour for all at Penny Dinners, and for all in the High Hopes Choir,” Ms Twomey said.
Speaking from Lourdes, Ms Twomey said she was praying for the Lord Mayor and all the city.
The award to Ms Twomey was initially announced by Councillor Kelleher during the Two Norries’s 100th podcast, which was recorded last week in the Lord Mayor’s chambers in City Hall.
The podcast featured a discussion between Ms Twomey, Councillor Kelleher, and Don O’Leary, director of the Cork Life Centre.
Earlier this year Mr O’Leary was presented with a civic award by the Lord Mayor at the Life Centre’s premises on Winter’s Hill in Sunday’s Well, becoming the first person to be presented with a civic award outside of City Hall.
The Two Norries’ 100th podcast will be available on Acast from today.