Cork husband's pride in Penny Dinners persuades wife to donate to the worthy cause

The Newbridge, Co Kildare, native is married to a Glanworth-born Cork exile, and she said they had travelled down to show their support for the work being done by Cork’s oldest charity.
Cork husband's pride in Penny Dinners persuades wife to donate to the worthy cause

Nuala and John Courtney making a donation to Caitriona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners with (left) Tracy Connolly at Croi na Laoi, Caitriona Twomey Wellness Centre. The donation was made following a golf competition fundraiser. Picture Larry Cummins

Nuala Courtney made the journey down from Dublin this week with her husband, retired colonel John Courtney, to make a donation to Cork Penny Dinners in the name of her late sister Anne.

The Newbridge, Co Kildare, native is married to a Glanworth-born Cork exile, and she said they had travelled down to show their support for the work being done by Cork’s oldest charity.

“My sister Anne died recently, and she didn’t leave a will, but she left behind a small sum of money,” Nuala explained.

“We gave a thousand to Dogs for the Blind, and I said I wanted to give something to Penny Dinners because I heard John talking about it so much.” 

John told The Echo he had long been an admirer of the work of Penny Dinners, saying of the charity’s co-ordinator, Caitriona Twomey: “She’s my hero, that lady. It’s great that we can identify with someone who does great work, and we would like that work to continue.” 

John had recently presented Penny Dinners with a separate cheque for €1,000, money raised by his golf society, the Dermot Earley Claret, named after the former Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Dermot Earley, who died in 2010 at the age of 62.

“We raised that money in his honour and name, and I know he would have loved what Caitriona does in Penny Dinners, because Caitriona’s dad was in the Army as well,” he said.

At that time, the golf society also presented a cheque for €1,000 to the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel (ONE), and John’s friend and former colleague Tracy Connolly from ONE was on hand to meet John and Nuala at Penny Dinners.

Caitriona Twomey said that it was through her father’s volunteering that she became involved with Penny Dinners, and the links between the Defence Forces and Cork’s oldest charity remain as strong as ever.

“When Penny Dinners was being renovated a few years ago, we weren’t able to cook, so the Army would collect dinners from all the restaurants and hotels who were helping us, and bring them here,” she said. “We have a fantastic relationship with the Army, and at Christmas the ONE deliver hampers for us.”

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