3rd Volunteer Recognition Awards Night in Memory of Paddy Looney



On Wednesday 6th March 2019, Carlow Volunteer Centre hosted the 3rd Volunteer Recognition Awards in Memory of Paddy Looney to celebrate the efforts of volunteers across Carlow for the contribution that they are making to their communities. The event took place in the Seven Oaks Hotel. Cllr William Paton, MC for the night, opened by welcoming and congratulating the nominees, and highlighting the exceptional hard work carried out by all volunteers in the many organisations in the county that depend on them. He also commented how lucky Carlow was to have such a wide range of organisations serving community interests. Special thanks were also made to UNUM, who once again sponsored the night.


Michelle O’Hara, Chairperson of the Carlow Volunteer Centre Board, spoke about Paddy Looney and how appropriate it was to have our Volunteer Recognition Awards named in his honour. Paddy or Pat as his family knew him was an active volunteer in a variety of different groups. Paddy qualified as a mechanic in the army and came first in his class in his graduation year. Paddy always paid great attention to detail and operated to very high standards in everything that he did. Paddy was well known around Carlow and beyond for his environmental clean ups. He was regularly seen on the roads around Carlow collecting bags of rubbish, which was then collected by Carlow County Council. Paddy had a great love of nature and enjoyed walking the river Barrow but was most at home in the mountains. He was an active member of South East Mountain Rescue and Tullow

Walking Club. Paddy brought all of his experience to bear in these roles and was often a mentor and educator. There are many testimonies from individuals that Paddy, supported and encouraged as Hill Walkers or Volunteers with SEMRA. He instilled confidence in others and often inspired them to help him with his Environmental Clean Up. Paddy reflected the generosity of spirit in the giving of his time, his hand and his heart for the benefit of others. Members of Paddy Looney’s family attended to celebrate the night.


Michelle then announced the 12 recipients of the awards, and briefly outlined the reason for their nomination. Helen Rothwell, Manager of Carlow Volunteer Centre, was on hand to present the award to them. The recipients were joined on the night by their friends and family, and by members of the community group that they volunteer with. The wide range of community groups represented highlighted that volunteering can be for everyone; it’s simply about finding the right role for you. Each volunteer was thanked personally for their volunteering contribution and making their community a better place.


The following volunteers received awards; Mary Reddy of the Tullow Road Community Development Group, Julia Kazimierowska of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, John McAssey of Holy Angels Day Care, Tom O’Neill of Carlow District Credit Union, Lauren Kehoe of Carlow Arts Festival, Marie O’Hara of Barnardos, Dick Murray of the Irish Cancer Society, Ann O’Neill of Éist Cancer Support, Gemma Flood of the Fibromyalgia Awareness and Advocacy Forum Ireland, Mná an Gháirdín Beo, The Members of Order of Malta Ambulance Corp Carlow, and the Volunteer Befrienders with the Syrian Resettlement Programme in St. Catherine’s Community Services Centre.


If you would like to learn more about volunteering in Carlow please give us a call on 059 9173033 and we can arrange a meeting to help you find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. You can also find us on Twitter: @VolunteerCarlow, Facebook and Instagram, where you can keep up to date with all our latest opportunities, events and general happenings in Carlow.