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Butcher Seán Kelly is Mayo Person of the Year
Butcher Seán Kelly is Mayo Person of the Year
Kelly’s Butchers are delighted to announce that Seán F. Kelly, butcher, businessman and charismatic ambassador for Newport and Mayo, has been named Mayo Person of the Year by the Mayo Association Dublin. He will receive the Virginia Gallagher Award at a gala presentation ceremony in Dublin's Ballsbridge Hotel on .
An uncharacteristally tongue-tied Seán Kelly was visibly emotional about the announcement, saying “I am truly overwhelmed to be chosen as the Mayo Person of the Year for 2017. I had no idea a submission had even been sent in - it was a complete shock to me when I got that phone call telling me about the award. So many emotions rushed in all together– I was shocked, surprised, delighted, proud and most of all truly honoured to be chosen”.
The award is bestowed annually to someone who has made an exceptional contribution to Mayo and its people. Previous winners include An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, actor Mick Lally, ex President Mary Robinson and Joe Malone (Director General Bord Fáilte).
The adjudicators said Sean Kelly had introduced countless people to his native county. It stated in the citation that: “Through building his business in Ireland and abroad he has used the platform to promote and introduce his native county to countless people. He does this in person when he meets people at shows or journalists and media. He does it through mass media via his countless radio and television interviews. He makes Mayo and Newport part of his message and has done more to attract visitors to this county than almost anyone else. His pride in his native county shines through whenever he speaks about it.
“Seán is devoted to his community and will do anything to help businesses and individuals. Sometimes this happens in a fanfare of publicity (sponsorships, running the annual Putóg Throwing Championships at the Newport Festival, parading visiting Frenchmen down the Main Street when they came to ‘knight’ him). But often it is done quietly and even anonymously - a kind word, practical support, financial assistance or just a listening ear. Seán believes in paying it forward, in doing a good turn without expecting something in return. He is always quick to show and express genuine gratitude to anyone who does him a good turn whether it is in his personal or business life. He makes friends easily and quickly – and keeps them.
“Seán has been described as the man who has put black pudding on the map. That is true – but more than that, he has put Mayo on the map in many ways and in many countries. Newport and Mayo are in Sean’s blood and everything he has done in the business has had his hometown and county at their centre. All expansions and developments have been in Newport, and this is where his heart lies”.
“A regular stream of journalists and media find their way to Kelly’s of Newport where they meet Sean and are introduced to the area in his own inimitable style. This brings Newport and Mayo to the attention of a worldwide audience. Sean ensures that everyone knows that Kelly’s, Newport and Mayo are completely intertwined.”
The panel was impressed by the fact that Mayo is central to Sean’s business message. “He has helped put Mayo on the map nationally and internationally from an economic tourism and community perspective. He understands the links between those sectors. He has developed a sustainable business strategy which has seen him through the recession of the past decade. His warmth and enthusiasm shines through the application. Sean is a true ambassador for Mayo,” the citation added.
The award will be made at the Mayo Association Dublin’s Gala Awards Banquet in the Ballsbridge Hotel on Friday 10thFebruary 2017.