Louise Mitchell

Burren Animal Rescue

Co. Clare

Louise Mitchell has been volunteering with Burren Animal Rescue for 13 years. She volunteers as fundraising leader, social media coordinator, fosterer, and tack shop manager. She is also Secretary of the Board of Management.

Louise says, “My favourite thing about my volunteer role is putting the FUN in fundraising, so the animals in our care get the life they deserve.”

Louise has organised a scenic 10k for equestrians to raise funds for the Rescue, created fundraising Christmas cards, and organises monthly and annual raffles. She also developed a successful tack shop that receives donations of horsey equipment and resells them with every euro going to the ongoing work of the Rescue.

Over the years, Louise has also offered her time to help many ponies to improve their adoptability and she keeps in touch with the new owners.

“Numerous animals have benefitted from Louise’s calm and compassionate method, which is the ethos the rescue holds dear,” says Burren Animal Rescue.

“Louise is a passionate animal lover – her empathy and kindness shine through all her actions. She is an absolute asset to Burren Animal Rescue with her boundless enthusiasm and ‘we CAN do it’ attitude.

“Recently, knee replacement surgery has put a stop to many of her fundraising efforts and she is truly disappointed that she can’t help as much as she has. Being nominated at this time will hopefully show her how much she means to the Rescue and how we all look forward to her recovery and seeing her big smile and sense of humour return.”

Mary Murtagh

Louth Tidy Towns Together

Co. Louth

Mary Murtagh started Louth Tidy Towns Together networking group about 15 years ago. As a member of her local group Dromiskin Tidy Towns, she recognised the potential of the Tidy Towns movement as a force for good in the county as a whole. Realising the benefits of groups working together for a common cause, Mary founded Louth Tidy Towns Together.

Since retiring a few years ago, Mary has put more time and energy into driving forward the Tidy Towns movement, resulting in major successes for the county in various competitions. She represents Tidy Towns on the the Louth PPN, on the independent Evaluation Committee of the LCDC, and on the joint Support Group structure with Louth County Council. She’s the main organiser of all Louth Tidy Towns Together initiatives, campaigns and fundraising events including the highly successful Louth Looking Good campaign that honours Tidy Towns groups and communities throughout the county. She still finds lots of time to devote to her own local Dromiskin Tidy Towns too.

Mary has provided advice and encouragement to organisations in other counties and has engaged with a number of local authorities nationwide.

“Louth Tidy Towns Together is a unique initiative in Ireland,” say Mary’s Tidy Towns friends. “Mary’s creativity in fundraising and sourcing grant aid, both for Louth Tidy Towns Together and for its individual constituent groups, knows no bounds, and her passion for the Tidy Towns movement at local, county and national level is second-to-none.”

Carmel Rooney

The Cat and Dog Protection Association of Ireland

Co. Dublin

Carmel Rooney has been volunteering with the Cat and Dog Protection Association of Ireland (CDPA) for five years. She currently volunteers as Chairperson and Rescue Team Lead.

“I feel we all have the power to make a change in the world,” says Carmel. “The local rescue has helped me change the destiny of cats and kittens for the rest of their lives.”

As Chairperson, Carmel manages the finances, administration and day-to-day running of CDPA. As Rescue Team lead, she is responsible for coordinating and facilitating CDPA’s trap-neuter-return (TNR) and rescue programmes.

“Carmel has made a direct and unimaginable positive impact on the lives of feral cats in Ireland,” say her CDPA colleagues. “Under her leadership, CDPA became a ‘no-kill’ animal rescue which means CDPA will never euthanise healthy or treatable animals. In addition, Carmel established CDPA’s trap-neuter-return programme, and rescue and rehoming programmes. The impact of her volunteering with CDPA is incredible. Roughly 1,000 cats per year are neutered under the TNR programme led by Carmel.

“She spends the majority of her free time volunteering with CDPA to help the most vulnerable and neglected animals. She is a single mother, works as a nurse and somehow always has time for everyone who asks her for help.

“Carmel is so dedicated to the charity and is involved in almost every aspect. She manages the CDPA helpline and is the first point of call for members of the public and often deals with very difficult situations related to animal neglect.

“She houses cats when they are first rescued in her own home before they are transferred to a foster home. Despite being the Chairperson, she is very hands-on and will be the first to roll up her sleeves and help a kitten in need.”

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