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Overall winners of Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards announced


Overall winners of Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards announced


A group of experienced volunteers who search for missing people has been named the overall winners of the first Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Award.  The monthly awards were launched at the start of 2021 to honour the unsung heroes who volunteer and make a significant contribution to their community.

A gala dinner was held at the Cork International Hotel to celebrate the 12 monthly recipients and to name the overall winners. The awards night was attended by Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Colm Kelleher; Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Cathal Rasmussen; Cllr. Seamus McGrath; Cllr Marcia D’Alton; the monthly winners and their family and friends.

Cork City Missing Persons, the February winner, was announced as the Judges Overall Winner at the special event. The group conducts searches on land and water, often continuing to search weeks after all State agencies are stood down. Despite working full-time, the volunteers make themselves available at short notice 365 days a year to the family and friends of missing people.


The public vote went to Passage West man Francis McEveney, the August winner. For many years, he organised an enormous All-Ireland under-age Gaelic Football blitz for girls. Francis also goes to great lengths to decorate his house for Halloween every year to raise funds for Marymount Hospice.


Norman Deane from Cork Harlequins, who won the July award, was presented with a Lifetime Contribution Award. Norman has looked after the grounds at Cork Harlequins since the mid 1980s. Now in his 80s, he still comes to the club every day, feeds the cat and cuts the acres of grass. The club said he has saved them thousands of euro over the years with all the work he has undertaken.


Eoghan Murphy, Deputy General Manager of the Cork International Hotel organised the event, he said, “We were thrilled to host the gala awards night for the winners, their family and friends. It is wonderful to be able to gather and celebrate so many remarkable individuals and groups who go all out to make a difference in their community. These volunteers are working quietly in every part of Cork and we’re delighted to be able to shine a well deserved spotlight on the impact they’re having on all our lives.” 


General Manager of the Cork International Hotel, Carmel Lonergan was on the judging panel, she said: “All 12 finalists can be so proud of what they have achieved. It was inspiring to read through each of the submissions and see the amazing work taking place in our communities. I would again like to offer my congratulations to the three winners, Cork City Missing Persons, Frances McEveney and Norman Deane. They’ve all given their time to give comfort to the families of missing people, championed girls in sport and spent thousands of hours maintaining their local club grounds.”


The awards are sponsored by The Carrigdhoun Newspaper and Gerald McCarthy Giftware. The judging panel was made up of private and public sector representatives including Carmel Lonergan; Nicola Radley, Cork County Council; Aisling Killilea, Bank of Ireland; Vincent O’Donovan and Jack White, The Carrigdhoun Newspaper.


Throughout 2021, there was one winner per month awarded and they were:

  • January – Jamie O’ Toole (Ringaskiddy Tidy Towns)
  • February – Cork City Missing Persons
  • March – One Green Village
  • April – Elaine O’ Regan (Ballygarvan Community Association)
  • May – Rainbow Club Cork
  • June – Frontrunners LGBT+ Running Club
  • July – Norman Deane (Cork Harlequins)
  • August – Francis McEveney (Passage West)
  • September – Bru Columbanus
  • October – Kilreen Celtic
  • November – Ability@Work (Cope Foundation)
  • December – Carrigaline Lions Club


2021 Winners:

  • Judges Overall Winner – Cork City Missing Persons – Presented by Aisling Killelea and Carmel Lonergan
  • Public Vote – Francis McAveney – Presented by the Carrigdhoun & Gerald McCarthy
  • Lifetime Contribution – Norman Dean, Cork Harlequins – Presented by Nicola Radley
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