AN evening to remember with a good reason to celebrate, the annual Lord Mayor’s Civic, Community Spirit & Cultural Awards and Community & Voluntary Awards night took place at City Hall on Tuesday evening.
Everyone was delighted to be out and thrilled to be present for such a feelgood occasion, recognising and celebrating the voluntary work in the community and those who go above and beyond the call of duty to look after others.
Lord Mayor Colm Kelleher was in fine form for the evening, stating it was “an honour” to preside over such an “important and prestigious event.” As his time as Lord Mayor comes to a close, Mr Kelleher said he could think of no better way to celebrate than “recognising the immense contribution particular individuals have made to the fabric of the city and the contribution particular organsations have made to families, communities and their own lives.”
Concluding, Mr Kelleher said: “We have all been touched or had our lives enriched by the work of one or more of tonight’s Community Awards recipients and this is the location and occasion to acknowledge and recognise that.”
Chief Executive Ann Doherty acknowledged the great privilege it was to be present at City Hall with a full capacity audience to witness the worthy recipients being honoured in this way.
“Your presence tonight is a very important recognition of the fact you, the community, are the activist on the ground that plot and plan how to improve your area. You mobilise and inspire others by your vision and enthusiasm to make the change.”
Cork City Council’s Chief Executive also thanked The Echo for its support of the awards over the years.
Taking to the stage editor of The Echo, Maurice Gubbins, outlined it was a “privilege and a pleasure” to support the recognition of the “outstanding work” being done by Cork people.
“Tonight is a real declaration and demonstration that we are all in this together. Tonight is when we show what Cork is all about. This is a city of community and togetherness – a great city of good neighbours and helpful friends.”
This year, a special Community Spirit Award was given to Caitriona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners, in recognition of her support to the vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic and her work and travel to the Polish-Ukrainian border with medical supplies in the Ukrainian humanitarian relief effort.
The evening was well attended, with the Barrack Street Band keeping the crowd entertained throughout the evening, although there was one additional musical act to compete with.
Culture Award recipient Seán Ó Sé treated the audience to a revamped rendition of his hit classic “An Poc ar Buile” with a chorus dedicated to cutting Russian President Vladimir Putin down to size.
“Now Putin is a nasty man, the worst I’ve seen since Adolf Hitler. I hear he is coming to Cúil Aodhla, they’ll sort him out with An Poc ar Buile.” While the age-old classic went down a treat, the new verse was worthy of a rousing cheer from the crowd with a little laughter breaking through as the tense topic was given some lighthearted jousting.
Following the awards ceremony, the audience were invited to the Millenium Hall for complimentary refreshments to enjoy with jaunty live music playing from a corner.
It was a delightful return to events for Cork City Council and the many individuals and groups that were nominated highlighted the best in Cork and showcased the rich character that exists in the Rebel County.