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Paul and Gary top the list as West Cork is well represented at Cork Person of Year

January 29th, 2017 11:02 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony with Cork Person of the Year, Gary O'Donovan and Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin; Noreen Murphy and Mick Kearns of Lisheens House with County Mayor Seamus McGrath; Kate Durant with puppy Jasmin representing Dogs for the Disabled. (Photos: Tony O'Connell)

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PAUL and Gary O’Donovan picked up yet another award last week, when they were named Cork Persons of the Year for 2016, at an awards lunch in Cork city.

Before an invited audience of 250, the Skibbereen duo received a standing ovation in the Rochestown Park Hotel.

County Mayor Cllr Seamus McGrath and Lord Mayor Cllr Des Cahill presented the award to Gary, on behalf of the people of Cork county and city. Paul could not attend the award ceremony, as he had Physiotherapy exams in UCD.

‘In the 24 years history of these awards, we got the most nominations ever for Paul and Gary, so it was no surprise when they picked up the Persons of Year trophy,’ said awards founder Manus O’Callaghan.

Many guests at the lunch spoke about the boys endearing personalities as well as their Herculean efforts in rowing.  Their success has led to huge membership growth in rowing clubs around Ireland.

The Lisheen brothers had already won the RTE Sports Team of the Year award, and the Director General of RTE Dee Forbes, who spoke at the lunch yesterday, was the first up to congratulate her fellow West Cork neighbour Gary O’Donovan. The O’Donovan brothers were surrounded by family at the awards lunch, including Mother Trish and their grandmother, Mary Doab. 

Master of Ceremonies at the event was well known RTE broadcaster Sean O’Rourke and the two award judges were Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council and Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council.There were other West Cork monthly winners on the overall shortlist. 

Also from Skibbereen, Jennifer (nee Ryan) Dowler was shortlisted for her work in setting up ‘Dogs for the Disabled’ which provides assistance dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities and the May winner was Noreen Murphy, who set up Lisheens House West Cork Suicide Prevention, which now covers all of West Cork. Conor Hourihane, from Old Chapel in Bandon, West Cork’s most successful soccer player ever, was also shortlisted.

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