Marie Barry and John Arnold

CITY & COUNTY COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS HONOURED
Marie Barry from Mayfield, Cork City and John Arnold from Bartlemy, County Cork are Joint October Cork Persons of the Month to mark their community contributions over the decades.
Marie Barry is the president of the Mayfield Ladies Club and has been an active member of the club for the past fifty years. Over the decades they have helped women who moved to the new housing estates in the Mayfield area get involved in their new community and introduced them to their new neighbours. The Ladies Club also volunteered for local organisations, like fundraising for the GAA Mayfield Club, the Over 60’s Talent Competition and many such projects.
They hold weekly meetings for their 65 members, often with an invited guest speaker. Nominator Paddy O’Brien, spokesperson for the elderly in Cork said “ The Mayfield Club is a great social club where woman can meet for a “cuppa” and chat and support each other, and especially support members who have lost partners and family members. “
Marie Barry from Gardiners Hill added “ I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of all present and past members of our club – this is indeed a very special recognition. “
John Arnold has dedicated his life to community work, both in his native Bartlemy near Fermoy, where he runs a farm, and far beyond – and is a respected and much sought-after social historian.
He has spent half a century involved in the GAA at local level with Bride Rovers and at national level. He has always been involved in a wide range of community work, from documenting families and life in Cork for generations to come, to recording the dead in the county’s graveyards. His door is always open when visitors to Cork from far and wide arrive in the county seeking information on their heritage.
John has been involved in acting, the arts, and storytelling, and has been a long time volunteer for the annual Cloyne diocese pilgrimage to Lourdes on more than 30 occasions. He has written many books and a popular weekly column for The Echo over the past 20 years. He has a great interest in current affairs and contributes to national debates on all media, including TG4 as he is a fluent Irish speaker.
Marie Barry and John Arnold will now go forward, with the other Persons of Month chosen this year, for possible selection as Cork Persons of the Year, at a Gala Awards Lunch to be held in January next
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Charlie McCarthy Receives Lifetime Sporting Achievement Award.

Charlie McCarthy is regarded as one of the greatest Cork hurlers of his era. This month he received a lifetime sporting achievement award by being named December Cork Person of the Month. His name now goes forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch on January 27th next at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

Charlie McCarthy won five All-Ireland medals with Cork and captained the All-Ireland winning team in 1978. He is a revered figure in Cork hurling as he is in his beloved St.Finbarr’s Club. This year the Barrs Club won the County Championship after twenty nine years. The last time they won it in 1993 Charlie McCarthy was coach.

He was one of the great corner-forwards for Club and County, winning five Cork All-Ireland medals, nine Munster medals, four National Hurling Leagues and captained Munster to a win in the Railway Cup back in 1978. He also won three All-Star awards. In 2001, to celebrate thirty years of the All-Stars, he was named at right-corner forward in the Supreme All-Star team.

Across a fifteen year inter-county career, he scored 24 – 149, a tally that puts him fifth on the all-time Cork scorers list and a record of more than a goal every two games. He made his senior debut for Cork in 1966 and won Senior and U21 All-Ireland medals that year. That was a special year as it was Cork’s first Senior All-Ireland since 1954.

Charlie started his career in 1958 with Redmonds under-15 team and five years later transferred to St.Finbarr’s Senior team. After that he was quickly discovered as a rare sporting talent and picked for the Cork Minor Hurling and Football teams, then Under-21, and on to the Cork Senior teams. With the Barrs he won five County titles, four Munster wins and two All-Ireland Championships. In 1993 he also managed the Barrs to a Sean Og Murphy win.

After retirement from hurling, Charlie became involved with team management and coaching for Club and County.

“When a sportsman’s name and skills remain in the public mind after forty years, you know you are dealing with a very special person indeed. Charlie McCarthy is such a person and he was always known as a gentleman on and off the field“ said awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan.

Pearse Flynn is Cork Person of the Month

Successful businessman, Pearse Flynn, is honoured for his investments in the Cork region.

Pearse Flynn, the businessman who invested millions of his own money into numerous businesses in the Cork region creating hundreds of jobs, has been honoured with the November Cork Person of the Month award.

Mr. Flynn is originally from Ballycotton and has invested substantially in the East Cork village where he grew up fishing for crabs and lobster. Over the last two years he has established the green energy companies EIH2, Green Rebel and ActionZero. Between them the companies employ more than 100 people with plans to grow this number even further by the end of the year.

He developed the restaurant and music venue, Sea Church in Ballycotton, which has hosted a number of musical acts including Moncrieff, Jerry Fish and Hudson Taylor as well as a very successful comedy festival last month.

Mr Flynn has also invested in the award winning Michelin Bib restaurant Cush, Ballycotton Sea Adventures and he was instrumental in the building of a playground and car park in the coastal village. All of these ventures combined have created many jobs in the Ballycotton area.

Green Rebel provides site investigation and data services to the offshore wind sector across three divisions while EIH2 is Ireland’s first green hydrogen production company.  ActionZero meanwhile creates a decarbonisation solution for companies moving from fossil fuels to renewable electricity.

Mr Flynn has also been involved in some of the world’s biggest tech and telecom companies. He previously managed the sale of Alcatel for nearly €12 billion.

Speaking about the Cork Person of the Month award, Mr Flynn said it was an honour to be recognised in this way.

He said: “It is humbling to think that I’ve been honoured with such a prestigious award.  I love my home county and, in particular, my native Ballycotton, and it was always my goal to invest in this area.  I wanted to create businesses that would bring visitors to the village but at the same time compliment its beauty.”

Awards Organiser Manus O’Callaghan said, “Pearse Flynn’s investments have brought hundreds of jobs to the Cork region and Sea Church is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after music and events venues in Cork so I’m delighted to be able to bestow this honour on him.”

Pearse Flynn will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch on January 27th next at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

Michael Collins Béal na Bláth Organiser Honoured

One of the people responsible for keeping Michael Collins Legacy alive over the decades has received the October Cork Person of the Month award.

Dermot Collins from Kinsale, one of the longest serving committee members and past chairman of the Béal na Bláth Organising Committee was named Person of the Month to mark his work in honouring and preserving our Collins history for future generations.

An estimated 12,000 people attended the Michael Collins centenary commemoration last August, and many thousands also followed it on T.V., to hear Taoiseach Micheál Martin say “Michael Collins deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest Irishmen to have ever lived.” Following the ceremony, the Taoiseach and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also made a presentation to Dermot Collins and others to mark their lifetimes work of spreading the Michael Collins story.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar offered his heartfelt thanks to the members of the Béal na Bláth Commemoration Committee, “and to your forebears, for your admirable work in making this event a worthy tribute to our lost leader, this year and every year.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin added, “This commemoration is an important statement of remembrance and gratitude and we should acknowledge the special role which the Collins family and the Commemoration Committee have played in this over many decades.”

Awards Organiser Manus O’Callaghan said, “The events at Béal na Bláth had enormous consequences for Irish history and immortalised this small Cork valley forever.”

“Congratulations to Dermot Collins and his fellow Béal na Bláth committee members, who have been keeping the Michael Collins story to the fore for future generations. It is important that we always honour this great West Cork man as one of the truly great heroes of Irish history” added Manus O’Callaghan.

Cllr. Garret Kelleher, current Chairman of the Collins Commemoration Committee, said it was people like Dermot Collins and indeed many committees over the years that helped build the Béal na Bláth event to the huge national occasion it has become.

Heroes of Crann Centre Honoured

Crann, the trailblazing Irish charity, providing solutions for families with neuro-physical disabilities has been honoured with Joint Cork Persons of the Month awards. Philanthropist Kate Jarvey founded the Crann Centre, and she and volunteer Terry O’Neill have been named Joint Cork Persons of the Month for September. Their names now also go forward, with the other Persons of the Month chosen this year, for possible selection as Cork Persons of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch on January 27th next at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

The Crann Centre is based in Ovens, Ballincollig and their services include health & continence, psychological well being, mobility, education & career pathways, community networks plus independent living. They provide services and supports for children, adults and families who are living with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or childhood stroke.

Kate Jarvey, from Kanturk, along with the late Timmy Buckley founded the Crann Centre in 2014. They currently support over 270 families and they have established many “first in Ireland” initiatives, such as their Model of Care, Co-Working Spaces which supports people with disabilities to remote work in a collaborative environment, and a fully accessible Playground and Leisure Space.

Kate Jarvey recently opened a 25 acre accessible Conservation Area at her farm near Kanturk which gives people with disabilities the opportunity to access nature in an inclusive working conservation area.

Terry O’Neill, a master craftsman, was responsible for building the huge accessible wooden Pirate Ship which is very much the centrepiece of the “first in Ireland fully accessible playground and leisure area” for children with neuro-physical disabilities. The playground was officially opened by Taoiseach Micheál Martin in July.

Terry is also a past Chairman and committee member of the Cork Spina Bifida Association. Terry’s late son Cathal had Spina Bifida and in his memory Terry has given years of service to children with disabilities.

“I would like to thank all my colleagues at Cumnor Construction and other volunteers and sponsors for their help at the Crann playground, I know Cathal would approve of the way it turned out” said Terry at the award presentation.

Chief Executive of Crann Padraig Mallon added “Our staff and Board members are absolutely delighted with this recognition for our Founder and Chairperson Kate and for our super volunteer Terry who, supported by a small group of friends, spent every Saturday over the past year building the huge Pirate Ship by hand.”

Speaking of her motivation in establishing the Crann Centre Kate Jarvey said, “I wanted to break the pattern of fragmented care services for people with disability and their families, so I hope that Crann will be that change maker now and for many years to come.”

Niamh Caitriona O’Sullivan Recieves August Cork Person of the Month Award.

Mezzo-Soprano, Niamh Caitriona O’Sullivan is the much talked about new opera star in European and American concert halls and major opera houses. She is the August Cork Person of the Month and her name goes forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch next January 27th.

The 27 year-old rising star of the opera world has received praise for her “bewitchingly beautiful, dark vibrant voice” from some of Europe’s best known impresarios. It was in school singing with the Regina Mundi College Choir in Douglas Road, Cork, that Niamh’s voice was discovered, further nurtured and developed. She also studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublinunder the late and legendary Veronica Dunne. Then in 2016 she moved to Munich and joined the Opera Studio at the Bayerische Staatsoper.

“Arriving in Munich as a twenty-one-year old was a major challenge,“ says Niamh “I had to learn a lot very quickly, including coming up to speed in several languages. But I love this world, the people, the music, the excitement and the spontaneity. As a freelancer, you never know what’s coming next.”

Niamh O’Sullivan’s work to date includes, singing the role of Flora in La Traviata alongside the great Placido Domingo. She also received rave reviews for her concert performance of Der Rosenkavalier at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Her numerous operatic engagements in Munich includes Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Barena in Jenufa. In concert her performances included Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah.

Niamh’s upcoming Cork appearances include The First Child with the Irish National Opera at the Cork Opera House next month, September 17th and 18th. This opera is directed and written by Enda Walsh and composed by Donnacha Dennehy.

She will also perform in Handel’s Messiah at St. Finn Barre’s Cathedral on December 9th and 10th.

Next year, she plays Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther at the Everyman Palace on the 6th of May and will also give a solo recital at the Triskel Arts Centre on August 27th, 2023.

At the Cork award presentation, Niamh thanked her mother and father Regina and Paul, sister Nicola, for their massive support over the years.

“The gift of music can so enrich people’s lives” said Niamh “and I look forward to continuing to develop it in the years ahead.”

Two Norries Receive July Cork Persons of the Month Awards

The creators of the The Two Norries podcast have been awarded the July Cork Person of the Month award to honour their podcast’s success, and the contribution they have made to community life in Cork and Ireland by speaking about difficult social issues on their show.

The Two Norries podcast is hosted by two boyhood friends from the Northside of Cork City, James Leonard and Timmy Long. James and Timmy speak about their own experiences with drug addiction, childhood trauma and homelessness, and invite experts on to their show to join them in these discussions, in order to help destigmatize these social issues and help listeners and viewers understand and overcome them.

They have produced over 100 podcasts to date, and regularly host their podcasts for live audiences around the country in theatres. They have also been guests themselves on various Irish media shows, such as the Late Late Show on RTÉ. In fact, Ryan Tubridy was the guest interview on their Podcast this month.

“Timmy Long and James Leonard can talk the talk because they walked the walk, so they have great empathy with young people. These lads survived time in prison and serious addiction problems so their powerful communication is listened to”, said awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan.

James Leonard currently works in the Cork Education & Training Board’s Youth Services Division, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Cork Simon Community. He is a Ph.D. candidate at UCC’s Department of Sociology and Criminology, and has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Youth & Community Work, and a Master’s Degree in Criminology. James spent over 10 years in addiction, which meant time spent homeless and in prison.

Timmy Long has also recovered from addiction and rebuilt his life through education. At the age of 31, Timmy experienced a spiritual awakening during an alcohol and drug fuelled binge which began a new life journey built on the pillars of education, meditation and personal growth. He completed FETAC Level 5 award in Furniture Making and Restoration, and a Level 6 in Sustainable Technologies, while also completing his carpentry apprenticeship in between. He then went onto third level education to complete an honours degree in Construction Management (FETAC 8 ). Timmy currently runs his own property maintenance and construction company and employs people who are in recovery.

James and Timmy use their academic qualifications, treatment centres and down-to-earth advice on the podcast to help people break the downward cycle of addiction and other social and health problems.

Broadcaster John Creedon, one of the nominators of the Two Norries for the award, said “These two men are a tour-de-force and a real force for change”.

Timmy and James’ names will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Persons of the Year at the 30th Annual Gala Awards Lunch on January 27th next.

This is the 30th year of the awards scheme. Our awards partners are Irish Examiner, EchoLive.ie, Lexus Cork, Lehane Motors, RTÉ, AM O’Sullivan PR Ltd, Cork Crystal, Southern, Tony O’Connell Photographer, Manus O’Callaghan, Cork Crystal, CAVS, Cork City Council and Cork County Council.