2013 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Community

Cathie O’Neill, Ballincollig Community Forum


Cathie has been a committed volunteer in the Ballincollig community with many different organisations for over 40 years. When Cathie sees a need in the community, she is committed to making sure that the issue is addressed. She has worked voluntarily on behalf of disabled people, young people, those that are socially disadvantaged and the poor. Cathie has been involved in founding many successful and on-going organisations that continue to provide support and assistance for people in the community. She was instrumental in founding a Family Resource Centre in 2002 and has helped it to grow into a service that meets the needs of many in the community.

In 2008, she was a founding member of the community forum - a forum that would bring all community organisations together and encourage community members, organisations and clubs to work together, to help each other and to develop a community that all members could be proud of.   Gerardene McNamara nominated Cathie for a Volunteer Ireland Award, she said, “Cathie is caring and considerate, always thinking of others needs above her own. Cathie fights for the underdog and makes sure that they have a voice that is listened to. Cathie’s enthusiasm for life and community spirit is infectious and she has encouraged many other people to become volunteers in the community. She is an optimistic person who refuses to say ‘I can't’ and will find someway to make things work. She makes you believe that you too can make it work.”


Photograph courtesy of David O'Brien