St. Mary’s Park Resident Named ‘Community Volunteer of the Year’ as Limerick City and County Council Win Three National Awards

  • Anthony O’Donnell Dedicates Win at the All Ireland Community and Council Awards to his Recently Deceased Brother Patrick
Anthony O’Donnell Dedicates Win at the All Ireland Community and Council Awards to his Recently Deceased Brother Patrick

There were celebrations in the King’s Island community in Limerick city over the weekend after local man Anthony O’Donnell was honoured as Community Volunteer of the Year at the LAMA All Ireland Community and Council Awards 2024.

Anthony was nominated for the award by Limerick City and County Council in recognition of his “enthusiasm and dedication to improve his community.”

The St. Mary’s Park resident is actively involved in formal structures like the Regeneration Committee and Community Development Working Group. He also oversees a number of activities at King’s Island Community Centre including dance classes and bingo.

Limerick City and County Council projects also won awards for Best Enterprise and Start Up Hub and Best CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Project in the Community. Five other projects were shortlisted for awards.

The Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Gerald Mitchell congratulated the winners.

“The LAMA awards recognise the hard work of council staff and volunteers who are the unsung heroes making differences in communities across the country every day. For Anthony O’Donnell to be singled out for his volunteer work is a great achievement. I commend him for his dedication to his community. He leads through his actions and is making a real difference for everyone in King’s Island. Congratulations also to Limerick City and County Council for picking up two other awards for projects that illustrate the innovative and collaborative approach that is proving a winning formula for Limerick.”

The LAMA Community and Council Awards 2024 ceremony was held at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre on Saturday (17 February). It was an emotional night for Anthony, who had attended the funeral of his 67 year old brother earlier that day. Patrick (Pa) O’Donnell was also a well-known, hard-working volunteer.

Anthony dedicated the win to his brother saying:

“Patrick was a volunteer in St Mary’s Park for twenty years. He worked with Saint Mary’s Aid, he was a volunteer there the same as myself, and just winning this on the day he was buried is a bittersweet moment. I wasn’t going to come to the awards but my family all told me I should go, so I came here to honour Patrick’s memory.”

Anthony says he will continue working to improve the area where he was born and raised:

“About 8 years ago I joined the bingo committee that we run in St. Mary’s Park. I ended up going on the Regeneration committee, the residents committee, the community forum. You name the committee I ended up joining it. We could see that St. Mary’s Park was getting run down and we set out to improve it. Working with Regeneration we are taking steps in the right direction but there is a lot more work to be done.”

Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council, Dr Pat Daly said the work of volunteers is invaluable:

“It was fantastic to see Anthony O’Donnell being acknowledged at these national awards. At Limerick City and County Council we recognise that volunteers are the backbone of communities right across Limerick and we are delighted to work with them and support them in projects that improve the quality of life for everyone in their areas.”

Dr Daly added, “The Council projects that won awards and those that were shortlisted are illustrative of our co-operative strategy. Working alongside community organisations and businesses we are enhancing valuable services, and promoting inclusivity and sustainability.”

The Best Enterprise and Start Up Hub award was won by Limerick City and County Council’s Engine Collaboration Centre and Engine Hubs. These unique projects have been created by Innovate Limerick, inspired by extensive collaboration and engagement with SME’s, multinationals, third level institutions and other business and tech sector members in the region.

The Council’s Corporate Roundabout Sponsorship Scheme won the Best CSR in the Community Award. The project provides companies with the opportunity to transform roundabouts into attractive greenspaces, improving their appearance and creating havens for biodiversity.

The All Ireland Community and Council Awards are held in partnership with Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) and IPB Insurance.

This year 31 local authorities across Ireland nominated over 200 projects in 24 categories. Limerick City and County Council was also shortlisted for the following projects: 

Category 

Project 

Best Environmental Project 

Limerick City and Environs “Green and Blue” 

Best Tourism 

Brand Adare 

Best Green Sustainable 

GoGreenRoutes 

Best Community Transport 

Bruff to Holycross 

Best Mental Health Initiative 

Sky is the Limit, Moyross 

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