Eoghan Murphy, Deputy Manager of the Cork International Hotel and Nicola Radley, Senior Executive Officer with Cork County Council presenting the first Community Spirit Award to Jamie O’Toole, Chairperson of the Ringaskiddy Tidy Towns: Photo: John Allen

That’s the spirit Jamie

A local hero in Ringaskiddy has become the first person to win a new award established to honour volunteers who go the extra mile for their community.

Jamie O’Toole was all smiles when he picked up the Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Award for January for his work with Tidy Towns.

Jamie took it upon himself to organise the Ringaskiddy Tidy Towns committee which has had a major positive effect on the village.

He also helps with arranging litter pick up, not to mention taking to the digital stage every Saturday night when he hosts weekly bingo on Zoom.

Locals have been singing his and describe him as an “extremely helpful, cheerful and approachable” man.

The new awards will see a standout group or individual chosen every month with an overall winner selected at the end of the year.

They are open to community groups and organisations in Cork from first responders to community centres, victim support services to sports groups and those volunteering in the health and disability sectors.

Deputy General Manager of the Cork International Hotel, Eoghan Murphy congratulated Jamie on his award and encouraged others to follow in his footsteps.

“The local community in Ringaskiddy is so proud of him and all he does for the village. He looks out for everyone while also taking care of the village and keeping people entertained on Zoom with bingo.

“The last year has been challenging for everyone and that is why it is so important that we recognise those who go above and beyond for others,” he said.

The awards are judged by a panel of public and private sector community representatives. Cork International Hotel is now looking for nominations for the future awards. Candidates can be nominated across eight categories.

These are community, safety and emergency services, social work and social inclusion, sports and recreation, animals and environment, arts, culture and media, children and youth as well as health and disability.

Senior Executive Officer at Cork City Council, Nicola Radley, who was one of the judges, said: “These awards are a wonderful way to recognise the organisations in our locality and their volunteers. People have really pulled together this last year and gone above and beyond and we want to recognise that. It is very important for us to recognise the amazing people in our community.”

To nominate a group or a volunteer visit corkinternationalairporthotel.com.