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As part of their 20th anniversary celebrations the Fermanagh Trust, in partnership with the Impartial Reporter, will be celebrating and acknowledging 20 inspirational community heroes whose kindness, ingenuity and voluntary input have made Fermanagh a better place to live. The awards will be presented during the Fermanagh Trust’s special celebration event tonight (Tuesday 13th October) at the Ardhowen Theatre.
The 20 community heroes will be an unranked celebration of good deeds, large and small. All to be equally applauded for their extraordinary efforts that make for a better County Fermanagh. What makes it so special is that these 20 people have been nominated by members of the public.
"Tuesday evening is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate 20 years of supporting people and communities. What better way to mark the Fermanagh Trusts work than presenting 20 Community Heroes awards, marking the voluntary contributions of people from throughout the County" outlined Frank McManus The Fermanagh Trusts Chairperson.
"The Community Hero Awards in partnership with The Impartial Reporter have been a fantastic success. The 20th anniversary celebrations are also a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of Fermanagh's wonderful talent at the Ardhowen event including Joan Trimble Bursary Awardees Jason McAuley and Megan Ryan. Along with Caritas Choir, Erne U3A Choir and Members of Ceol na Manach" explained Frank.
The 20 Fermanagh Community Heroes are...
1. Ethel Oldcroft – Volunteering from her teens, Ethel is actively involved in a host of organisations including Coleshill Community Association, Coleshill Senior Citizens, the West End Partnership, the Rossary Wednesday Club and South West Age Partnership.
2. Kathleen Breen – the well known Lisnaskea woman enjoys playing an active role in her local community. Kathleen serves as secretary of Carrowshee/ Sylvian Hill Community Association, she is treasurer of 4th Fermanagh Lisnaskea Scouting Ireland Group and she holds office as treasurer for Lisnaskea Feis Committee.
3. Eileen Drumm – through Shop Mobility, Women Making Waves, which she set up 16 years ago, Disability Action, North West Forum for People with Disabilities and countless other voluntary organisations, Eileen is assisting hundreds of people and making real positive change.
4. Viola Wiggins – Now in her 80s, Viola has spent a lifetime helping others. As well as raising money for a variety of worthy causes from an early age. She is also a noted local historian who has helped people across the world uncover their Fermanagh roots.
5. Frank McGowan – Tamlaght man Frank McGowan rose to the ranks of Assistant County Commissioner for Fermanagh after initially only filling in as a scout leader in Lisbellaw. During his time as commissioner he oversaw all the groups in the county, giving leadership and providing the youth with important life skills.
6. Niall Greene – Founder of Fermanagh based Community Interest Company ‘Adult ADHD NI’ Niall supports adults diagnosed with ADHD as well as parents of children with ADHD. From humble beginnings the organisation has helped over 200 people across Ireland.
7. Bernie McNulty – Bernie was behind the creation of the Belleek Comhaltas branch. She also chairs the Fermanagh Comhaltas County Board and makes sure she is involved in whatever capacity possible, in the promotion of Irish music.
8. Selwyn Johnston – Enniskillen man Sewlyn of Headhunters Barber Shop and Railway Museum has been instrumental in keeping the spirit of the railways in Fermanagh alive. The museum which is a registered charity with free admission involves people of all ages and and has one of the largest collections of memorabilia in Ireland.
9. Edel Bannon – A founding member of Enniskillen’s Aisling Centre, Sister Edel has been described as a “truly inspiring lady” who gives of herself, her time and her skills”. The Aisling Centre opened in 1990 and Edel managed it until 1995, working diligently to raise funds and to expand services.
10. Pat Hey – Since being named treasurer of Bannagh Community Project in 1991, Pat has played a central role in the organisation and the wide variety of activities that it offers. Mrs Hey has also served with distinction in many other local organisations. Including Bannagh Womens Group
11. Liam Cox – Liam has been a driving force within his small rural area and shown a steadfast commitment to the running of Cavanacarragh Hall as well a number of other projects including Cavanacross Crossroad Millennium Project and the annual townland quiz.
12. Noreen Kettyles – Founder of MeUnLtd, Noreen has developed a range of programmes supporting women carers with children who have learning disabilities. The main aim of Noreen’s work is to empower people to make positive change in their lives.
13. Anna McKenna – Anna’s commitment to children and young people in Kinawley in both the local GAA club and Little Treasures Playgroup has been a key part of her life.Anna has taken on administrative roles at a county level in the GAA and is currently secretary of the Fermanagh LGA.
14. Olivia Cosgrove- While Olivia’s name is synomous with a number of charities she is also well known for inspiring people to use the waterways of Lough Erne. As chairman of ‘Row the Erne’ she has spearheaded volunteers to build a currach and row it.
15. Mark Allen – popular Enniskillen pantomime star Mark who is a stalwart with the Lakeland Players is recognised for “making people laugh”. He is also acknowledged for the many years he has spent as an active scout leader with St Micahel’s Scouts in Enniskillen.
16. Louise McLoughlin – the mother of 3 from Boho is involved in a host of voluntary groups associated with rural interests both in her local area and county wide.
17. Jack McKinney and Josie Maguire (joint award) - Founding members of the Devenish Partnership Forum, Jack and Josie have no plans of stopping their community work! Jack is the treasurer and Josie chairs the DFP which was established to combat high levels of deprivation within 4 Enniskillen housing estates.
18. Joe Mahon – the Irvinestown hotelier is no doubt a force for good in his community. A man whose endeavours every year bring people together and assist those in need, not least the Marie Curie cancer charity which he has helped raise thousands of pounds for. His work during the Lady of the Lake festival plays a significant part in maintaining the town’s strong community spirit.
19. Maud Cunningham – Maud has been an active part of the community exemplifying everything about volunteering and active community work. She helps out with training, specifically in first aid which she teaches to various organisations. Maud is also involved in North West Mountain Rescue Team , her local Church and girl guiding.
20. Ann Orr – Rural life is at the heart of everything Ann Orr is involved in whether its organising Fermanagh County Show, taking entries from breeders or simply helping out in her local community of Topped Mountain or church at Coolbuck. Ann sees her role as promoting women in business, Northern Ireland and its food, preserving the environment and heritage.