Thirty-one heroes from across Ireland and from all walks of life were celebrated at the Volunteer Ireland Awards 2012 on December 5th, International Day of the Volunteer. The nominees were honoured for their outstanding contribution by Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise Ó Muirí, with the ceremony hosted by RTE’s Claire Byrne. Quintessential Sax and North Dublin Community Gospel Choir provided music during the celebrations at Dublin's beautiful City Hall.
The prestigious Volunteer of the Year 2012 award went to Antrim Midwife Jacqueline McAuley, whose work in VSO Ireland in Ethiopia had a transforming and lasting effect on patients and staff. Jacqueline devoted two years of her life to improving health care for babies and mothers in Ethiopia. Read more about her here or watch the short film.
Each of the 31 volunteers were honoured on the night, and 10 category awardees were presented with trophies:
Animals & Environment: Jacqueline O’Driscoll - Limerick Feral Cats
Arts, Culture & Media: Sha Gillespie - Foyle Gay Pride Festival
Campaigning & Awareness Raising: Lorraine O'Neill - Cystic Fibrosis Cavan
Children & Young People: Celestine Fennessy - Irish Girl Guides Clonmel
Community: Sharon Parker-Byrne - New Oak Estate
Education & Training: Tomás Connaughton - Civil Defence Galway
Health & Disability: Betty Wall - Variety Ireland
International Development: Orla O’Donnell - Outreach Moldova
Social Work: Sr. Helen Culhane - Children’s Grief Project
Sports & Recreation: Jim Ryan - Claremorris Athletic Club