By Pat Costello
CLONMULLION FC’s great season of ’22 continued into ’23 with the announcement that Eddie Hennessy has been named as Co Kildare’s recipient of The Federation of Irish Sport’s Volunteer in Sport Award. The Awards are supported by the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships and the Awards Ceremony will take place at The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown on Wednesday 22 March 2023.
The Volunteers in Sport Awards celebrate the contributions of the band of volunteers across the country who give their time to Irish sport and physical activity every year. Minister of State with responsibility for Sport and Physical Education Thomas Byrne TD is the special guest speaker at the Awards Ceremony which will be hosted by broadcaster, Gráinne McElwain. The overall Outstanding Achievement Award will be revealed on the day.
Eddie Hennessey of Clonmullion FC, who is a founding member and has volunteered for more than 27 years. Eddie lives and breathes Clonmullion ensuring that everything at the club runs smoothly. Eddie has held many different positions and has been instrumental
in the club’s development.
Mr Hennessy has helped Clonmullion to strive both on and off the pitch through his tireless efforts as he set up and organised the club lotto which helped to upgrade the facilities including the clubhouse, a new gym and new playing fields. With the help of Eddie the club has won the Kildare and District Club of the Year this year in recognition of winning a treble of titles which is something that has
never been done in the history of the Kildare League.
Eddie’s outstanding commitment to Clonmullion is second to none and he has gone above and beyond to help the club.
Throughout December and January members of the public, sports clubs and governing bodies were invited by the Federation of Irish Sport in partnership with the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships to nominate an individual whose contribution to sport and physical activity in Ireland has made a real difference to their community, club or county.
Following a shortlisting process by the Selection Committee, the judging panel consisting of 9 individuals drawn from sports administration, academia, the volunteer community and media, and included former Director General of the GAA, Paraic
Duffy, RTÉ broadcaster, Marie Crowe and Declan Jordan, Senior Lecturer in Economics at UCC.
Commenting on the awards, Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne TD said: “The volunteers being recognised today deserve enormous credit. Their work, often unseen and undertaken without any fuss or fanfare, makes sport a reality for hundreds if not thousands of people in their communities. In particular, the work of volunteers enables young people to play the sport that they love, to meet their friends and form lasting friendships. In so many ways, volunteers are the lifeblood of
sport in this country and I am privileged to have this opportunity to publicly acknowledge their vital
contribution to Irish sport.”
Speaking about the importance of the awards, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor said: “In every county throughout the country, clubs and sporting organisations facilitate multi-generational opportunities for people to be involved in sport and physical activity. The work and goodwill of sport volunteers across the country cannot be taken for granted… Every week in Ireland more than 450,000 volunteers bring sport and physical activity to life for our communities and it’s time we afford their hard work the recognition it deserves. It is therefore important that we showcase the size and scale of this contribution by bringing such volunteers together today at the Volunteers in Sport Awards with attendees from every county in the country to shine a spotlight on the positive work they do for sport and physical activity.”
CEO Sport Ireland, Dr. Una May commented: “I would like to congratulate all the winners at the Volunteers in Sport Awards. Sport Ireland and its network of Local Sports Partnerships are delighted to recognise the invaluable contribution of volunteers to the promotion of sport and physical activity in Ireland. The LSPs collaborate with and depend on the remarkable dedication of volunteers to create opportunities for all members of the community to participate in sport and physical activity. This ensures a culture where sport and physical activity is inclusive and accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or abilities. We are grateful for the inspiring efforts of the volunteers being celebrated today, and all volunteers across the country, who help us achieve this.”