Mayor of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley. Photo: Brian Lougheed

County Mayor's Diary: Cllr Mary Linehan Foley

Last week saw the return of one of the most important occasions on my calendar, the annual Mayor’s Community Awards.

The turn of global events last year meant that, unfortunately, we could not come together to celebrate this special occasion in 2020. The impact of the pandemic, and the way we responded and adapted, made the awards so very important this year.

It was an honour for me to virtually host this year’s Community Awards. This was a particularly important event for me as Mayor, and for many people in Cork county, in providing a formal opportunity to thank community groups and volunteers who have played such a vital role in our response to the challenges of the past year.

Each year these awards celebrate the best of goodwill, generosity and altruism in our communities. These virtues, and the people that hold them, contribute immeasurably to the quality of life in Cork county. The actions of these individuals and groups resonate countywide, strengthening the bonds of our communities and spurring us all on to achieve better for the social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of our towns and villages. In the past year, these virtues have saved lives.

Community groups and volunteers are essential to ensuring that people’s needs are met, that everyone can access available resources, and that community wellbeing, charity and environmental conservation continue to be supported.

I was delighted to present the Overall Individual Award to Mary Manning of Dromahane for her work with the local development association, the residents association, the community hall and tidy towns amongst others.

The Overall Group Award went to Harper’s Island Steering Group for their Trojan work on the Harpers Island Wetlands Project, converting a lost 70 acre area between the N25 and the Cobh to Midleton Railway Line, all nominees are true examples of community activism.

I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who took part, to the wider volunteer community and to my fellow elected members for their nominations.

Every one of us has played our part over the past year, and we have shown how effectively we can halt the spread of the virus when we work together while staying apart and adhering to public health advice.

This will be vital this Easter. Although the holiday traditionally involves coming together with our families, we must forego doing so this year. This has been a difficult time, and it is sad that we cannot enjoy the holidays the way we usually would.

This long weekend, I would encourage everyone to apply the remarkable creativity and adaptability we’ve seen in recent times. Whether online or by phone, keep connected with family and loved ones safely.

With the vaccine rollout progressing, there’s hope on the horizon. Let’s continue to work together towards lowering the numbers. We can do this!

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