Community 'Oscars' presented

Published: 18 Oct 2012 13:000 comments

There was success for many at Fermanagh Rural Community Network's Celebrating Community Achievements Awards presentation held on Monday night in Cashel.

Gerald D'Arcy (second from right) presents the Gabriel D'Arcy cup to Sean Cox, Cleenish Group for the Individual Endeavour award. Also in the photo are Frances Spence, FRCN; Louise McLaughlin-Borlace, FRCN Chairman; Barry Boyle and Christopher Spence, FRCN.<

Mr. Sean Cox from Arney, who has been involved in community activity for almost 30 years, was presented the Cup for Individuals who have made a Difference, an award in memory of Fermanagh Rural Community Network (FRCN) founding member Gabriel D'Arcy, whose son Gerald made the presentation.

Sean is currently Chairperson of his local community association, Cleenish Community Association. His work not only benefits the Community Association but also the Youth Club, Dancing Club, Playschool, Primary School and many local charities.

He is known for the way in which he gets on with the work to be done in a quiet and reserved manner, not seeking any special recognition with his most endearing characteristic being noted that of ensuring any activity or project undertaken is delivered and makes a difference to his community.

This is the second year that Fermanagh Rural Community Network presented the cup which they commissioned in memory of Gabriel D'Arcy, who passed away in October 2011.

Certificates of Recognition were presented to all those other Individuals Who are Making a Difference in their local communities, who were:

Dorothy Pendry - Ardess Community Association

Sandra Beacom - Kesh Young Farmers Club

Gerry Crowley and Kevin McKenna - Roslea and District Community Forum

Roy Murray - Killyfole and District Community Association

James Gallagher - Bannagh Community Project

Damian McAfee - Boho Community Association

In the Involving People category there were joint winners -- Donagh Development Association and Teemore Women's Group.

And in the Local Community Activity category there were also joint winners -- Ardess Community Association and Coa Community Association.

In all three categories there were a number of high quality applications demonstrating the extensive level of voluntary activities taking place throughout the rural communities of County Fermanagh.

Donagh Development Association, joint winner in the Involving People Category, operates in Donagh village and surrounding area, one of our smaller rural settlements and have been very active in undertaking a wide range of activities such as classes, Christmas lights, Summer Festival, Coffee Mornings to benefit all age ranges within their community with a particular focus on more senior members.

This association has involved the community in doing the physical work required to improve their area with the most visible sign of all this work being their Community Garden. Teemore Women's Group, also joint winners, operate on a cross-community and cross-border basis providing a wide range of social, educational and recreational courses, workshop and activities for 60 members aged from 45-75.

A Certificate of Recognition was presented to Cleenish Youth Club who provide a youth club for those aged 8 - 18 from Cleenish and the surrounding rural area with a significant amount of voluntary help.

Ardess Community Association, joint winner in the Local Community Activity category, this year decided to organise an event which commemorated and remembered one of the most significant features of their area, The Famine Grave at St. Mary's Parish Church, Ardess. It involved local schoolchildren from surrounding schools in Fermanagh and neighbouring counties in which they were given an opportunity to learn about this historical event. An exhibition was held in which the Public could view the extensive information which local people have collected and an Ecumenical Commemoration Service was held to bring the day to a close and fittingly remember all those who suffered in this event and are continuing to suffer from famines today in other parts of the world.

Joint winner Coa Community Group have been operating nearly 20 years providing a wide range of activities for their rural area in their community hall for their local population. The hall is also the base for a range of other local groups such as Bowlers, Footballers and Drama Club. The group was successful in obtaining funding from the Rural Development Programme through South-West Action for Rural Development and Fermanagh District Council and also undertook extensive fundraising to improve hall facilities. The project was completed in May 2012.aCertificates of Recognition were presented to Roslea Shamrocks GFC who were nominated for the work which they have done over and above their core activities in ensuring that a representative organisation has been established in their village and have actively participated in the Village Renewal process. Through this an Integrated Village Action Plan was complied and Rural Development Funding has been secured from SWARD by Fermanagh District Council for environmental enhancements.

A Certificate of Recognition was also presented to Cleenish 25 Card Players Club meet weekly to providing a valuable social activity every Saturday night in their Community Hall and ensure that many members actively get involved in running this activity and providing catering.

Louise McLaughlin, Chairperson of FRCN, welcomed more than 70 people to the gathering. Gabriel McGrath, Chairperson of Cashel Community Association who were hosting the event, gave a presentation on the activities and projects of their group.

Barry Boyle Network, Co-ordinator, gave an overview of the activities of FRCN over the past year

Also on the eveing, Guest speaker Joe Lusby, Deputy Chief Executive of the Western Health and Social Care Trust gave a comprehensive presentation on The New South West Acute Hospital.

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