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Who will be Blarney’s Person of the Year?

Wednesday, 10th January, 2018 5:08pm

Excitement is building as 11 Blarney Person of the Month winners wait to hear about who will the overall 2017 title, which will be announced at an awards ceremony on Saturday 13 January at The Castle Hotel, Blarney.

The awards will be attended by more than 100 guests, including all monthly nominees for 2017.

“This is the eighth year these awards have been running and, with so many worthy nominees this year, our judges have had a particularly difficult job on their hands,” said Kate Durrant, one of the organisers.

The award’s aim is to recognise achievement, leadership and altruism in community, sport, business, arts, family, or indeed from any sector or activity in the local community. It is hoped that the success of Blarney figures in various fields will inspire others.

The nominees this year include retired teacher John Kelly, who gave 43 years of his career to the young people of Blarney.

Another is Freda Hayes, who is head of not one, but two, iconic Irish brands: Blarney Woollen Mills and Meadows & Byrne. The group employs over 500 people between three Blarney Woollen Mills stores and thirteen Meadows & Byrne stores throughout the country.

Noel Holmes, for his success with his horror film ‘Jack Scott's Wood’, which won Best Short Film at the Russian International Horror Film Festival has also been nominated.

Eddie Geary and Barry Looney (together), who both retired this year from Blarney Swimming Club after a cumulative 78 years of volunteering are also in the running.

Another contender is Mary Walsh, who is responsible for the birth of a new storytelling community called The Gab in Blarney.

Horse rider Angela Lyons who, despite the difficulties associated with her rheumatoid arthritis, won two Munster Dressage Championship titles at the start of August and qualified to represent Ireland internationally this year is a sports person in the running.

Pat Keohane is another monthly winner. He has worked with charitable and voluntary organisations for many years and who founded Waterloo Renewal Group.

The Chairperson of Blarney Active Retired Group Bridget Harrington, Adam Whitbourn, Head Gardener of Blarney Castle Estate, Blarney and Cork GAA star Mark Coleman, and Blarney GAA Chairman Martin Lynch round off the list of this year’s nominees.

The winner of Blarney’s Person of the Year will be announced on Saturday 13 January at The Castle Hotel, Blarney.

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