newbridge Rotary Club recently presented its highest honour to the widow of the late Dermot Earley, in honour of the work done in the locality by the former Defence Forces Chief of Staff and former Kildare manager.
The presentation of the Paul Harris Fellowship to Mary Earley, in the presence of her sons David and Conor, took place on Monday May 30 last and was attended by current army chief Sean McCann and the Irish District Governor Elect of the Rotary Club, Barney Callaghan, who had served in the army with Lt Gen Earley.
The fellowship is named after the founder of the Rotary Club, the service organisation which looks to raise funds and work for local good causes. Gerry Kierans, president of Newbridge Rotary Club, explained that this was the first time the honour had been granted by the Newbridge club to a non-Rotarian. The club’s intention to present the award to the late Lt Gen Earley had to be postponed due to the illness which claimed his life last June. Lt Gen Earley now joins figures including the Duke of Edinburgh and Mary McAleese who have been recognised with the award for their part in serving others.
“He was an outstanding individual in everything he did, both in his career in the Defence Forces, and what can I say about his sporting achievements. He was also very active in the community,” said Mr Kierans. He described the late Roscommon native in his speech on the night as “Kildare’s most illustrious adopted son”.
The award was accepted by Mary Earley, and David Early in response said that the family were honoured to accept the fellowship on his father’s behalf.