Wednesday, March 13, 2024



John Looney from the Cork City Hospitals Children's Club presented with the Judges Overall Award by Carmel Lonergan (Trigon Hotels). Pic: Brian Lougheed

Winners of the Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards announced at gala event


Cork City Hospitals Children's Club has been named the overall judges winner at the Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards 2023.  The charity organises magical and exciting adventures and trips of a lifetime for children and their families who are going through a difficult time.


This is the third year of the awards which celebrate the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups dedicated to enhancing the lives of people in their community.  Each month, a winner is announced and these people are all considered for the overall prizes at a gala ceremony which was held in the Cork International Hotel recently.


Founded in 1994, Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club started out as a small group of Cork University Hospital staff who got together to raise money to give children attending the hospital a fun day out.  The charity now has more than 40 volunteers made up of security personnel from CUH, Gardai, doctors, nurses, social workers, children protection officers, ambulance personnel and pharmacists.


The Public Vote Winner was John Calnan of Raffeen Creek Pitch & Putt Club and Leevale Athletics Club.  John was an active member of Leevale AC and Hilltown for 30 years, serving as a committee member and volunteer at Leevale where he worked with some of Cork’s finest athletes. He also played a part in the sporting lives of several Olympic athletes including Derval O’Rourke, Lizzie Lee and coach Donnie Walsh.


The Lifetime Contribution Award went to Mary Foley of Passage West.  Mary has been the driving force behind the Passage West Children’s Choir, the Harbour Amateur Dramatic Group, the Sunshine and Smiles Club for children with disabilities and the Passage West and Monkstown Cardiac First Responder group.


Eoghan Murphy, General Manager of the Cork International Hotel said; "The Community Spirit Awards provide a platform to celebrate the unsung heroes among us, whose contributions often go unnoticed. It is heartening to see the immense impact these individuals and groups have on our community. As we celebrate the achievements of this year's winners, we also extend our gratitude to all those who strive to make Cork a vibrant and inclusive community. Their dedication serves as an inspiration to us all."


Director of Group Operations with Trigon Hotels, Carmel Lonergan was on the judging panel and she said;  “We had a group of 12 very worthy monthly winners and each and everyone of them should be so proud of all their efforts to help others.  We had a difficult decision to make and I would like to congratulate the three winners, Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club, John Calnan and Mary Foley.  They have all given so much of their time to helping the lives of many people.  I would also like to thank those who nominated them for the award.”


The awards are sponsored by The Cork International hotel in association with The Carrigdhoun Newspaper and Gerald McCarthy Giftware. The judging panel was made up of private and public sector representatives including Carmel Lonergan; Nicola Radley, Cork County Council; and Vincent O’Donovan, The Carrigdhoun Newspaper.


Throughout 2023, there was one winner per month awarded and they were:


●       January - Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club

●       February -  Templebreedy SOS

●       March - Jim Griffin

●       April - The Shandon Area History Group

●       May - Cork Cancer Care Centre

●       June - Eileen McGough

●       July - Kinsale Community First Responders

●       August - Mary Foley

●       September - John Calnan

●       October - Donal Kelleher

●       November - Kevin O’Driscoll

●       December - Bernard and Ann Lynch


2023 Winners:


●       Judges Overall Winner - Cork City Hospitals Children's Club - Presented by Nicola Radley and Eoghan Murphy

●       Public Vote - John Calnan Raffeen Creek P, Leevale Athletics Club - Presented by Vincent O Donovan and Eoghan Murphy

●       Lifetime Contribution - Mary Foley - Presented by Carmel Lonergan, Trigon Hotels and Gerald McCarthy

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